Candy Cops, Candy Cops, Whatcha Gonna Do?

Published On April 12, 2017 | By Matt McNeill | Afternoons

With all the chaos in the world today, it sure is nice to live in Canada
where one of today’s headline stories involves a massive manhunt complete with infrared
chopper footage hunting a group of teens who broke into our country’s most famous theme park,
Canada’s Wonderland after-hours when the park was closed – to steal…candy!
No guns, no weapons.. just a sweet tooth and a penchant for mischief.

But that didn’t stop The York Regional Police from flying in their Air2 chopper
and with the use of their FLIR imaging – and canine units, managed to find the
trespassers  hiding in the bushes, cramming the sweet sugary evidence into their mouths
before surrendering to the authorities..and probably juvenile diabetes.

Watching the footage is surprisingly  hardcore. Having seen one too many infrared chopper cams
from our friends in the Excited States military, you keep expecting to see the missiles and tracers
stream out towards the lit up targets below.  But in this case, since we’re at CANADA’S WONDERLAND
and these are (later) repentant and apologetic teenagers, the only thing dispensed was JUSTICE.
Was it as sweet as the candy?
Probably.   But sweeter.   yeah.

Here’s the footage:

Am I ever glad this technology (or commitment of resources) didn’t exist like that when
I was a kid. Back in 1989, I would have been about 11, so it’s safe to say the statute of
limitations has likely passed for  this heist for which I’m about to confess.

It went down at Storybook Gardens in London Ontario. There was a rack of candy –
machines over by the castle at the front of the park, and it was discovered quite by
accident I should stress,  that one of them was broken. The handle under where you
turned away your fat, shiny expensive quarter ($0.25 was like $7.99 in today’s dollars
as I tell my niece and nephew) – the handle was BROKEN. It as found that if you turned
it counter-clockwise, the machine would miraculously dispense FREE jumbo gumballs.
Within seconds,  I was surrounded by other kids, some wanting to try, others threatening
to tell, and others who were looking around guiltily for signs of park-staff – we had to act fast.
We, being I.

So, I held my shirt under  the candy machine like a pouch and collected as much as I could
while shouting to my little brother to run quickly to the car for a shoe-box, which we
promptly filled up as well. By then, the other kids wanted in. They wanted a turn and
were threatening TO TELL – and so my brother and our friends and I ran for cover –
and towards Jonah the whale, in the middle of Storybook Gardens.  We hid in the belly of
the whale – giddy and guilty and shaking with paranoia and sugar, stuffing our faces with
those sweet, giant, hollow candy gumballs.

From our vantage point- in this semi-submerged bunker, there was a direct line of sight
to the candy machines where a frustraged and puzzled group of park-staff finally arrived .
The other kids scattered in the wind….while a few remained behind to point here and there,
no doubt trying to rat us out – and the park staff did not look happy.
They dollied the entire display away, scratching their heads while my friends and I
lobbed our shoe box full of treasure over the fence and into the bushes of Springbank Park
by the otter display, to be retrieved later.
The perfect crime.

Bring in an infrared camera and a helicopter though, and that could have very well just
been us, crouching down inside Jonah the Whale instead of under the roller coaster tracks
of Canada’s Wonderland.

Like this Article? Share it!