Mark Clairmont |

GRAVENHURST — No wonder Terry Candow is thinking of retiring.

The owner of Terry’s Your Independent Grocer, too, doesn’t like the rising price of groceries, which he says he has nothing to do with.

Prices are set by Westons, the company owner, and its suppliers, he says.

But what’s really got his goat recently is the spike in thefts — which he says aren’t covered by insurance. It’s profit right out of his pocket.

A recent spike of grocery product thefts this summer has him thinking it’s time to get out of this business.

And don’t get him started about self check-out.

If he had his way he’d get rid of them, because he says that’s also where a lot of theft takes place with customers not checking items through the scanner.

Terry Candow has had a hard time timing out of COVID dealing with customer complaints about rising prices and now he faces a summer where he’s lost thousands of dollars in profits from customer and organized crime thefts, he says.

So how do shoppers walk out with thousands of dollars worth of items without paying for them?

Where do the goods all end up?

And how does he know the value of how much product was stolen off his shelves?

In a busy summer grocer it’s difficult to decipher.

But that last question is easiest answered.

Once the store suspects it’s been hit they look at security video and follow the suspect or suspects around the store via the CCTV to aisles they travelled and at shelves they stopped at.

Because each item sold is logged into store computers to be reordered when quantities are low it’s pretty easy to figure out what was pilfered when they take a quick inventory check of the shelf.

Candow says the big cash grabs are the product of “organized crime.”

Some of the goods end up being resold to small independent sellers or at flea markets, he suspects.

Much of it isn’t even food.

Baby formula and tooth brushes, for an example, were among recent targets.

It’s a lot of high-priced items.

Candow has had to call in the cops several times the past few months.

Again this week police are asking the public for help in identifying suspects in several more large thefts at his store.

Police released this YIG CCTV photo of suspects they say may be involved in at least one of four or more grocery thefts this summer in Gravenhurst.

Four times the past six weeks — in July and August — they report suspects entered Terry’s YIG and stole thousands of dollars worth of goods, primarily from the heath and beauty section.

Police are asking for help from members of the public in identifying the individuals.

Anyone with information is asked to call Bracebridge OPP at (888)310-1122 or call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477. You can submit your information online at if you have any information on this crime or any other crime. Crime Stoppers does not subscribe to call display, and you will remain anonymous. Being anonymous, you will not testify in court and your information may lead to a cash reward of up to $2,000.



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