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Police: No hate crime charge for Instacart driver accused of destroying groceries

Blaine Police believe an Instacart delivery driver destroyed an elderly couple's groceries because of their support for law enforcement.

BLAINE, Minn. — Editor's Note: The video above originally aired on KARE 11 on Dec. 13, 2021.

Blaine Police said the Instacart delivery driver accused of destroying a couple's groceries and leaving behind a derogatory message because of their support for law enforcement has been cited for Criminal Damage to Property.

However, police said the incident doesn't rise to the level of a hate crime, and therefore won't be charged as one. "The facts in this case do not meet the elements required for an enhancement to a hate crime," the department said in a statement.

In order for the property damage to be enhanced to a hate crime, Blaine police said they'd have to prove it was motivated by the victim's perceived race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, disability, age, or national origin, per MN Statute 609.595 subd. 2 (b).

The driver, a 36-year-old woman from Coon Rapids, has a court date scheduled for the future.

On Dec. 6, Blaine police said an elderly couple placed a grocery order from Cub Foods through Instacart and received a notification that their delivery driver had arrived. The couple told police they went outside to get the groceries because they were worried the driver might've been stuck in the driveway because of snow.

When they opened their door, the couple told police they saw the delivery person driving back and forth in the driveway and yelling for them to check the inside of their Christmas wreath. Tucked into the wreath was the receipt from their grocery order, which allegedly contained a derogatory message.

When the driver left, the couple said they found that their groceries had been run over in the driveway.

Police said after reviewing the message on the receipt, it appeared the driver took those actions because the couple had a sign supporting law enforcement in their front yard.

Instacart issued the homeowners a full refund, and sent KARE 11 the following statement Monday night:

“We’re appalled by the unacceptable actions of this shopper, who has been removed from the Instacart platform as a result. 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 that was started for the couple surpassed its goal of $500 and has raised nearly $12,000 as of Wednesday morning.


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