Squirrel bandits snatching chocolate bars driving store owners nuts

Paul Kim at his convenient store / Dave Abel (Toronto Sun)


A group of cheeky little Toronto squirrels have been caught red-handed on video surveillance stealing chocolate bars from a convenience store. One should never condone theft, but it is way too hard not to root for the squirrels.

Two videos posted on YouTube show the bushy-tailed thieves sneakily entering through the open door of Luke’s Grocery and Snack Bar, grabbing a chocolate bar fearlessly before scooting off. Owner of the store, Paul Kim, said for nearly two weeks’ squirrels have visited his shop and committed the felony — stealing chocolate bars from the bottom shelf.

“I always see them sneaking outside the door, looking into my store, and even right at me,” said Kim. He said the squirrels come into his store every year when he is forced to leave the door open because of hot temperatures, but last year he noticed a rise in the number of visitors.

Kim believes the squirrels have stolen close to 50 chocolate bars from the store in the past few months. “That’s an extremely rough estimate, though, because we have no way of knowing when we’ve been robbed —they are very sneaky!

So, what exactly are these little critters craving that warrants a trip to Luke’s? “It’s a different bar every time — Oh Henry, Crunchie, Kinder Bueno, Crispy Crunch, Wonderbars… and those who are really brave try to take Mr. Big,” said Kim.

The loss of a few chocolate bars might sound like peanuts to some, but these pesky little thieves are causing problems for the family’s revenue. For example, The Kinder Bueno Bar sells for $2 and the Crunchie Chocolate Bar sells for $1.80.

Kim swears that he’s seen these squirrels come by the store every fall season for the past nine years, ultimately, since he’s owned the store. He has seen a spike in the rodent thieves in 2016 with one of the bandits visiting Kim and his family daily.

Kim says that he tries to chase them off, but with a laugh, he admits that they are unquestionably faster than he is. “I just say, ‘Okay, bye!’” Kim says as he jokes that the squirrels should be well stocked for the season.

“We find them very cute, however, these squirrels have stolen considerably from us this season, and we’d like that to stop,” Kim said.

Customers and bystanders have also tried chasing down the bandits, but when they resort to scurrying up tree trunks and branches, it is game over.

Bottom line: These fluffy-tailed little critters are trolling the GTA; they could soon be seen in your town robbing your stores. To small business store owners, beware, but don’t live in fear. Instead, hide your candy bars and keep your eyes peeled. It should all be over soon.


Loredana Del Bello, Assistant Campus News Editor 


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