He’s been dubbed the “Fresh Breath Bandit” by police. Although the theft occurred on Dec. 17 of last year, police only released the information yesterday. They have come to a dead end in their investigation and need the public’s help in finding the culprit. Police also released surveillance video from the drug store showing the man entering and leaving the store, not once but twice, carrying green plastic garbage bags filled with the stolen merchandise.
According to York Regional Police, the man arrived at the Markham drug store in a taxi. The video shows him walking into the store and going straight to the candy aisle. He then fills a garbage bag with chewing gum and leaves the store. He can be seen going back into the store a few minutes later and filling up another bag with gum before he walks out of the store again. Police believe he left the area in the taxi that was waiting for him.
The value of the stolen gum has been put at $1,528.
The perpetrator of the large chewing gum theft is described as a male, brown, 5′ 7″ tall with a medium build and sporting a salt and pepper beard. It is believed he is between 40 and 50 years of age. At the time of the theft, he was wearing a black jacket, blue jeans and a blue cap.
An employee of a Shoppers Drug Mart told CTV News gum was also stolen from their store a year ago. Police also acknowledged a similar theft took place at a nearby Shoppers the same night as the $1528 heist.
Police are not prepared to say at this time that all three thefts were committed by the same person.
Headline writers have been having some fun with this story, describing police as “having chewed on all leads”, “chew on this”, and “police stuck on investigation.” The suspect has been referred to as a “sticky fingered thief.”
York Regional Police are asking anyone who can identify the suspect to contact them at 1-866-876-5423, ext. 7541 or leave an anonymous tip with Crime Stoppers.