On Thanksgiving night, police responded to Kroger Supermarket at 209 Chicago Avenue in Goshen just before 11 p.m. to find the store’s front doors open and about a dozen people trying to purchase items through a self-checkout system. My brother, Daniel and my cousin, Juan, were among the confused group of customers that night.
Daniel and Juan had gone out last night to shop at Walmart and Target for Black Friday. They left our house early because they wanted to make it in time for the Walmart door-busters at 8 p.m. After a successful shopping at both stores, they got hungry and decided to buy some junk food at Kroger.
To get inside Kroger there are two sets of automatic doors; Daniel and Juan said the first set was open and the second was only half-open. They would’ve sensed something was wrong, but they saw other people inside and the lights were on, so they squeezed through the second set of doors. They know the store is regularly open 24/7 so they didn’t think anything was off when they were able to go through the doors and into the semi-deserted store. My brother described the store as a perfect zombie apocalypse scene.
When they got to the self-checkout lane they tried scanning their items and weren’t able to. They tried multiple times without success; they tried ringing for an employee to come out, but no one came to their aid. Finally, as they were still at it they saw two police officers walk into the store.
The officers looked as confused as the customers but they told everyone that the store was actually closed. A manager was called to the site, who made sure the store actually closed down. Daniel and Juan left the store hungry, confused and a bit embarrassed of what they had encountered, but they had a good laugh after they made it home safely. It’s definitely going to be one of those holiday family stories to share in the future.
I emailed the Goshen Police Department, and a spokesperson told me they think the locking mechanism on the door had not completely engaged. The spokesperson also said no one attempted to steal anything from the store. I called Kroger this morning and talked with a manager, who said the store had no comment as to why the doors were open. He said they were also trying to figure out what happened last night.