I had something very creepy happen to me.
On September 9, 2019 I stopped at the Real Canadian Superstore to pick up a few groceries. Two of the items I bought went into my deep freezer on the sundeck. They were big bags of President’s Choice frozen vegetables in the 2 kg size (just over 4 pounds). One was a bag of mixed veggies (corn, peas, carrots, green beans, lima beans) and the other is California mix (cauliflower, broccoli and carrots).
Shortly after I put the frozen veggies in the freezer, I grabbed a snack that I had in a freezer bag out there. A chocolate peanut butter rice crispy square. Similar to how everyone’s favorite Rice Krispies squares are made, but no marshmallows. This snack is really rich with melted chocolate chips, peanut butter, maple syrup and coconut oil, and I store it in the freezer so I don’t pig out on it. I cut it into 20 squares when I made it on August 31. I gave some away, and ate some, so there were fewer than 10 pieces left in the labeled freezer bag.
I’m still perfecting that recipe by the way! Once I’m happy with it, I’ll write a post and share.
Am I going crazy?
When I arrived home on September 10, I headed to the freezer to grab a chocolate peanut butter crispy treat, but didn’t see it. The freezer bag must have slipped further down out of my sight. I decided to ditch my search and warmed up the last of my super easy Instant Pot vegetable barley soup for lunch.
A little later I decided to get one of those treats for my dessert. So much for my blood sugar, right!
I took everything out of the freezer. In my post about 7 money saving grocery secrets you need to try, I talk about how I keep flour and oats in the freezer to help extend their life, plus I’ve been freezing blackberries and muffins and other baking so I can eat them later. All these things and more were inside the freezer.
Two things become very clear to me. The remaining chocolate peanut butter crispy treats and the big bag of mixed vegetables I bought the day before are not in the freezer.
What. The. Hell.
I walked down to tell my landlord and we talked about what might have happened. Who stole my food out of the freezer?
And when? After I did my grocery shopping, I didn’t leave the property again. It’s my guess that the food was stolen overnight or when I went out in the morning for a few hours. But probably overnight, to avoid detection under the cover of darkness.
My landlord has motion detector cameras set up. Anything that moves in the driveway, or in the pasture between the road and his house, will come up on the camera and sends an alert to his phone. He said there’d been no unusual activity.
When I went back to my house I looked in the freezer again because I hadn’t paid much attention to the two removable baskets. I know for sure my rice crispy treats weren’t in the baskets, so I didn’t look too closely at them before.
The first thing I notice, or should I say don’t notice, is a bag of bones for the dogs that I keep in one of the baskets. I bought them about 2 weeks ago and the dogs have had two each since. There must have been 5 or 6 bones left in the bag. They’re soup bones. Not for my soup. I don’t eat meat!
I phoned my landlord to let him know and he walked up to my house. He suggested putting a clasp and padlock on my freezer.
What else is missing?
Here’s the thing. I don’t know everything I had in my freezer. A lot of the time people don’t notice things are missing until they start looking for them.
I realized a 2 pound bar of Great Value chocolate almond bark and a 2 pound bar of Great Value vanilla almond bark are missing. These aren’t sold in Canada. Why not??? I buy them at Walmart in the states and I picked them up last September on my trip to Oregon. They’re melting chocolate for a crock pot candy recipe. I haven’t got around to using them because I’ve been watching my weight and keeping my blood sugar down. They were bought to have on hand – just in case. You never know when I might get in a candy making mood!
Last Christmas I received one of those giant Cadbury Dairy Milk bars that show up at that time of year, around a 2 pound bar I think. It was up against one of the freezer walls and had other items leaning on it. Good thinking putting it in the freezer so I wouldn’t be tempted to eat it. Gone.
I was planning to have shrimp with my dinner that night when it occurs to me that I don’t remember seeing that bag of shrimp when I was moving things around in the freezer. I double checked. Not there. It was a 2 pound bag and I’d eaten about half the shrimp by the time it was stolen.
Also missing are a pound of butter and a small package of spinach. That spinach shows up in a photo I took of bananas in my freezer for my post on the dead banana dilemma. There are probably other things missing that I haven’t noticed yet. The freezer bags full of blackberries and blueberries and the skinny blueberry muffins, rhubarb muffins, and blackberry muffins are there. I could have sworn I had pumpkin chocolate chip muffins in the freezer too, but I’m not absolutely certain whether I’d already eaten them. It’s also possible I had a bag or two of frozen fruit on there that I’ve forgotten about. There’s a bag of frozen cranberries in there but I don’t see any other bags of store bought frozen fruit, but I haven’t bought any for awhile. Once I’ve opened the bag, I keep it in the upper freezer compartment in my fridge, so it’s close at hand when I need fruit.
Dog bones, frozen vegetables, and chocolates are really weird things to steal. The thief just took food. On my sundeck I have things of value. My mountain bike is parked there. It is now locked to a support beam on the deck! I bought expanding pet steps from Handicapped Pets in 2008 after I’d been in a car accident and it was too hard on my back to lift one of my dogs in and out of the car. That was Tessa, a 70 pound Dalmatian with mobility issues. I haven’t used it in years, but I have two senior dogs and I know I’m going to need the steps one of these days. I brought it inside my already cramped small house. It cost $225 – and that’s American dollars! – when I bought it over ten years ago. I don’t want that to go missing.
I have a bike rack that fits onto the spare tire on the back tailgate of an SUV. That was the car that was totaled in the 2008 crash. One day I want to get a Jeep again so I’ve held onto the bike rack that cost over $100. I put that inside the house too. There’s other miscellaneous stuff on my deck. I have a shelf unit with car supplies – wiper washer fluid, cleaning supplies, wax, and other things. I also have some animal supplies that are OK outside in a covered area. And a few deck chairs. Things that would be annoying if they’re stolen, but not the end of the world.
My landlord has had a few items stolen, at least $1000 worth. Probably by drug addicts. It just seems if someone was looking for things of value to steal and sell there are better pickings around this property!
How did the creepy food thief get on the property?
My landlord has motion detector cameras set up at various places on the property that sends an alert to his phone. Any movement between the road and their house would send an alert. There are no cameras between our houses or behind/beside my house.
The backyard of my place is a pasture that backs onto a neighbor’s pasture. There’s no fence. It would be easy to cross properties. However, that neighbor has a big, noisy dog in a kennel that barks to alert the owners whenever someone comes on the property.
The neighbor’s property has a heavy wooded area beside it. I walked over there, and it’s got fresh sand put down from our neighbors, but I don’t see any fresh footprints. I doubt anyone is living in the woods. Or if they are, they didn’t come down to the path.
The properties on either side are fenced, but a person could easily climb a fence and then jump across the ditch that borders both these properties.
Was the creepy food thief just a random intruder?
My gut feeling is that someone who knows the property lay out, has been here before (whether or not they were invited and welcomed!), is the food thief. They had to know there’s a freezer on the sundeck, but not necessarily know what’s inside it.
Here’s the other thing. An intruder would have had to bring a flashlight or have a flashlight app on their phone. It’s very dark here when the sun goes down. There are lights for the sundeck, but the switches are inside the house.
Actually any intruder, whether its a homeless person camping in the woods or someone who has been on the property before, would need a light to see what they’re doing. My freezer does not have a light that comes on when the lid is lifted.
All told about $30 in missing food.
I mean if someone was hungry and knocked on my door and asked for help, I’d have given them a few cans of soup, a package of cookies, a couple of apples, and a $15 Subway gift card I keep in my car in case I see someone who could use a meal.
I pretty much eat a plant based diet. I’m a pescatarian so sometimes I keep frozen seafood in the deep freezer. That must be really disappointing to the creepy food thief who was probably hoping to walk away with some expensive meat products. They did get the dog bones, but likely didn’t realize they aren’t edible unless they’re planning to make soup.
The other tally is the emotional one. Everyone feels violated whenever something is stolen. The creepy food thief was on the other side of the wall while I was sleeping. It makes me pay more attention to the fact that I’m an older, single woman living in a somewhat isolated area. My landlords are in a house about 100 feet away from me, but they wouldn’t know if something bad is happening to me in the middle of the night if an intruder intends to harm or kill me.
I live a frugal lifestyle and don’t have extra money. If someone steals my food, I could go hungry.
On the other hand if someone steals my chocolates, that’s just calories I don’t have to worry about eating!
If you like watching me in action, check out the video where I talk about the creepy food thief.
Has a creepy food thief ever stolen food out of your freezer?