Homeowner Paula Habib thought it was “no big deal” at first, but when her homegrown tomatoes kept disappearing, she was determined to find what or who was stealing them. She suspected it might be a hungry squirrel, but when she looked at her security camera footage she was shocked to see it was the mailman!
Habib, who lives in Quebec, Canada, told CBC’s As It Happens she could understand why someone might nab her tomatoes, saying “They’re out there. They’re red. They’re looking delicious.”
But when the postal worker kept coming back for more she got a little bit peeved. “Every day he was passing by and more tomatoes were gone. We’d look at the camera and again it was him — picking and choosing and turning the basket round and round to pick the red ones,” she said.
Her neighbors joked with her about it. “He’s like really in there. We had friends that said… ‘Put out some bread and mayonnaise and salt and pepper and he can make a little sandwich.'”
She told the Canadian radio news channel that on one occasion he even forgot to deliver the mail and just ate the tomatoes! “[He] realized midway through, ‘I forgot to put the mail in the box.'”
Habib decided to put an end to the thieving actions and called Canada Post but after getting “the runaround” she went to the media. Shortly after, she got a call from Canada Post and they said the postal worker would be coming by her house to apologize in person.
She said she doesn’t want him fired, but said what he did as ethically wrong, telling As it Happens. “I’ve always taught my kids not to steal and to me it’s stealing. It’s the postman that you’re supposed to trust.”
When asked what she will be giving the postal worker any tomatoes when he stops by, Habib joked, “I should go out and buy him a plant.”
You can watch the tomato thief in action in the video below.
To listen to the good-humored Habib relate her funny story in the radio interview here.