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Five finger discount: stealing on the rise in London restaurants

Posted at 5:00 pm, October 17, 2012 in News
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We thought stealing from establishments was best left to the cast of Friends, but apparently Londoners visiting places often take a little piece of it home too. Jamie Oliver has complained recently that ‘30,000 napkins’ are being nicked from his Jamie’s Italian restaurants per month. His spokesperson clarified that this might be a slight exaggeration. What’s worse are rumours that punters are taking parts of the crapper too. That’s the posh Thomas Crapper toilets, with their name imprinted on the handles, which often end up handle-less and are now having to be superglued together.  So where do we draw the line?

This all sounds suspiciously like student behaviour to us. Actions such as the classic stocking up of fast food joint sauce sachets are hopefully something that everyone will ‘grow out of’ with the dawning of responsible adulthood (spoiler: it never happens).  But the recession seems to have hit all of us so hard that we are leaning on restaurants to supply us entirely with homeware. We’ve heard reports of people supplying their entire kitchens with pint glasses via local pubs and admissions to taking crockery, chopsticks and ‘souvenier’ items, such as mugs with logos on, as well as, of course, food itself. As well as people skipping out on bills in busy restaurants, £13 lamb legs from Iceland are now being stolen so often that they are being kept in special protective boxes (see above). Dark times. Victoria Gray

Have you ever stolen anything from a restaurant or cafe?  Let us know in the comments, or tweet @TimeOutLondon.

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