Minneapolis, MN – Police are investigating after an Instacart delivery driver in Minneapolis left a hateful note for an elderly couple and destroyed their groceries because she was offended by a pro-police sign in their yard.
The incident occurred on Dec. 6 when the elderly couple placed an order for $50 in groceries from their local Cub Foods through Instacart, WCCO reported.
Amber Gray, a relative of the victims, posted the details of what happened on her Facebook page on Dec. 8.
“Today two of my elderly relatives were victims of a hateful act. Targeted because of a small yard sign supporting their local police department,” Gray wrote.
“These people are two of the most beautiful, generous, loving souls I’ve ever known. This past year has been a rollercoaster of heartache and big life changes for them. Money is tight. Vulnerability is high,” the post continued.
“This morning they made an Instacart grocery purchase to be delivered to their door. Nothing crazy. Just a couple of bags worth. They received the usual notifications; Tara is shopping, Tara is on her way, Tara is in your neighborhood,” Gray wrote. “Worried that Tara might struggle in their un-shoveled driveway, they rushed out to meet her.”
“As they opened the door they heard Tara screaming for them to check inside their Christmas wreath,” she continued. “It also seemed that she was stuck in the driveway, rocking the car back and forth to get free? Seeing no groceries anywhere they checked the wreath. To their utter disbelief they found a hateful note crudely scribbled on a random receipt. In harsh bold marker it read, ‘Instacart doesn’t pay employees sry find another slave f-k the police racist pigs’.”
“A short time later they discovered their groceries in the driveway, casualties of Tara’s hateful act,” Gray explained. “She wasn’t stuck after all, she was running their groceries over.
She went on to explain that her elderly relatives were having financial and health problems.
“Tara probably doesn’t know how carefully those $50 in groceries were budgeted for. Or how devastating the recent medical diagnosis has been. Or how scared and vulnerable her vile act of hatred made them feel,” Gray wrote. “My heart breaks for my loved ones.”
The women went on to say that “supporting law enforcement doesn’t make you racist” or give anyone the right to attack you or your belongings.
“I can only hope that Instacart does the right thing here and holds Tara accountable. I hope the Police Department is able to find Tara,” Gray wrote.
Blaine Police Chief Brian Podany said detectives have spoken with the Instacart driver and said that, after reviewing the message left on the receipt, they determined the driver’s vandalism of the groceries was in response to a sign that said “Thank You Blaine PD” posted on their front lawn, KMSP reported.
“We’ve seen things with signs in the past, but something this brazen is really unfortunate and really uncalled for,” Chief Podany said.
He said the driver was a 36-year-old woman from Coon Rapids and that she has refused to speak with law enforcement, KMSP reported.
“We’re in law enforcement, we get not everybody likes us, we understand that, but don’t take that out on innocent people out there, especially people who are trying to contribute to this person’s livelihood,“ Chief Podany said.
Instacart gave the elderly customers a full refund for their order, KMSP reported.
“We’re appalled by the unacceptable actions of this shopper, who has been removed from the Instacart platform as a result,” the company said in a statement. “We’ve been in direct contact with the customers to refund their order and provide additional resources. We’ll continue to provide support to the impacted customers and will also work directly with local law enforcement on any investigations into this matter.”
A GoFundMe for the pair, set up by Gray to bolster their grocery budget, had raised more than $9,000 at publication time.
Whether charges will be filed against the driver remained to be seen but police said she could be charged with misdemeanor disorderly conduct and criminal damage to property, WCCO reported.
If convicted on those charges, the driver could be sentenced to up to 90 days behind bars.