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Theft or reasonable?

(96 Posts)
Roseformeplease Sat 12-Apr-14 10:17:04

Just come out of a huge supermarket where we stopped for breakfast en route back from holiday. DH and MiL ordered huge breakfasts and the rest if us had cake / biscuit type meals. They gathered dozens of little salt and peppers at the end of the meal (20-30) and DH helped her to scoop the lot into her handbag.

I said I was very, very embarrassed and walked away as this is theft. They reasoned that the packets would have been binned.

I argued that I always try and return the unused ones to the cafe.

My children (teens) agree with me. DH and MiL say it is not theft.


NB after a week with her I might just have had enough so be unreasonable as she hums all the time and smells if cheap hairspray.

2blackcats2 Sun 13-Apr-14 16:25:05

My dad and stepmother do this: they go to Wetherspoons, McDonald's, ikea and Costa coffee for salt, butter, jam, sugar and coffee. Oh, and milk. They use it in their caravan.

I don't think it's theft particularly but it is toe-curlingly embarrassing and ruins any chance of a pleasant-ish meal with those two taking fistfuls of condiments.

EvansOvalPiesYumYum Sun 13-Apr-14 15:54:08

NOOOO - notadog - it's not about packets of salt, per se (the packets have simply been used as an example). The thread is more about what constitutes theft - in general.

For instance - if you were a very small company and members of the public regularly stole from you massive amounts of sachets of salt/ketchup/brown sauce, etc. you would very soon be out of business, but in general members of the public would not see that as having done anything wrong. However, if you were a very large company and just one member of the public stole, for example, a silver teapot, everyone would think it justifiable that that member of the public be prosecuted and brought to justice.

The large company may be able to absorb the loss of the silver teapot, yet the smaller company may struggle with losing heaps of sachets of condiments. But it will be seen that the theft of the teapot is worse than the theft of the condiments.

The question raised is - what is theft, and what is not?
Do you really not get it?

notadoglikernevermindlover Sun 13-Apr-14 15:05:07

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Theodorous Sun 13-Apr-14 14:25:27

No I am just amused. I am not privileged just made choices to live in a certain way.

EvansOvalPiesYumYum Sun 13-Apr-14 14:22:34

what may . . .

EvansOvalPiesYumYum Sun 13-Apr-14 14:20:06

Not quite, notadog - more the subject of may or may not constitute theft. wink

notadoglikernevermindlover Sun 13-Apr-14 14:11:22

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Roseformeplease Sun 13-Apr-14 14:02:38

I do think a lot of theft is driven by poverty (certainly at the salt sachet level) while some is driven by greed (at the duck house level) while still more is driven by poor parenting, low moral standards or bad influences winning out.

His childhood has been fairly sheltered (we live in a no crime part of the UK) but he is also reading Dickens at the moment where the poor are driven to steal through lack of other choices.

Unused = stealing
Used = finishing off (e.g. A shampoo sachet)

These were unused and perfectly usable by someone else so it is stealing. They were in a large container for you to help yourself to but there is an implied limit, suggested by the amount a normal person would put on their food.

After all, the cafe is attached to a huge shop where they sell salt and pepper.

Caitlin17 Sun 13-Apr-14 11:59:14

Evans exactly right.

EvansOvalPiesYumYum Sun 13-Apr-14 11:56:34

Taking home the toiletries left in your hotel room is not theft, they have been left there for your use and it is part and parcel of your stay (no matter how "posh" or "low key" your choice of hotel may be. wink I think most of us have stayed in all types, so namedropping not needed.

Filling your handbag with sachets from the café/restaurant area is theft. They are there as condiments to complement your meal. Not for you to fill your bags with.

Taking things home that have been left for your use is fine, hotel room toiletries, etc.. Stock-piling and stuffing your handbag full of "complimentary" sachets of condiments from the cafe/restaurant area is stealing.

Theodorus - if you think the thread is silly, then why are you commenting? I think you are simply trying to tell everyone how privileged you are. Bragging and boasting is, IMHO, poor form and quite unnecessary.

Martorana Sun 13-Apr-14 11:31:39

". If I found a half used bottle of shampoo I'd assume housekeeping hadn't cleaned the room."

You would be right. But only because it would mean that the bottle hadn't been topped up from the mammoth pump action vat on the housekeeping trolley (ex chamber maid speaking)

Martorana Sun 13-Apr-14 11:29:52

"DS was embarrassed (as a teen) as he is young enough to see stealing as something you do when you need something you can't afford."

Really? As a teen? He must have led a very sheltered life!

Caitlin17 Sun 13-Apr-14 11:22:43

No Rose that's not what I'm saying. I agree with you this is theft and stingy and mean and odd and embarrassing.

Taking home the bottles of toiletries provided in hotel rooms isn't as they are provided as part of the room rate for which you have paid. I have never stayed in a hotel which doesn't provide completely new unopened toiletries for each guest so goodness knows where this stuff about 1\2 used bottles is coming from. If I found a half used bottle of shampoo I'd assume housekeeping hadn't cleaned the room.

Roseformeplease Sun 13-Apr-14 11:15:21

I have raised my children to see this as theft. That is why DH and MiL made me so angry. My DS was embarrassed (as a teen) as he is young enough to see stealing as something you do when you need something you can't afford. Posters above seem to think the posher the chain, the less awful the theft.

So stealing from Morrisons not OK. Stealing from a good quality hotel chain = good.

We also rent out self-catering properties and leave things for people to use (salt, oil, matches, etc). If they take these away, that is theft, if they use them in situ, that is fine.

inabeautifulplace Sun 13-Apr-14 10:47:15

To get people to focus, let's frame an example in universally understood terms.

You have guests over. A final bottle of wine is opened after dinner but they only have a glass each. Your guests attempt to leave with the bottle. Are they reasonable or not?

Caitlin17 Sun 13-Apr-14 10:27:25

sharon Malmaison isn't posh. It's an ok chain of comfortable hotels. I only mentioned it because you said it was stealing to take hotel toiletries.

sharonthewaspandthewineywall Sun 13-Apr-14 09:26:14

Waaaahhhh I've also been to the malmaison loads of times if we are playing name drop the posh hotel winkwinkwinkwink

Martorana Sun 13-Apr-14 09:11:00

"Roseformeplease - it is wonderful you have raised your children to think this is wrong."

She hasn't. He doesn't like it because he thinks it "makes them look poor"

mom2twoteens Sun 13-Apr-14 08:52:12

I'm with OP and Nenny, it's theft.

It's also quite disturbing that other posters seem to think it's okay just to take stuff that doesn't belong to them. Definitely theft.

Theodorous Sun 13-Apr-14 08:36:04

I am a bit spoilt that's fair enough. But I am not abnormal in thinking this thread is silly

FunkyBoldRibena Sun 13-Apr-14 08:30:26

I did have a friend who used to raid people's fridges when he was asleep at night; and without realising it used to pocket their condiments. He was getting onto a bus home one day and his wallet wasn't in his pocket but a jar of pickled onions was. How we laughed.

Caitlin17 Sun 13-Apr-14 00:54:08

sharon theodorus is not a thief in taking the sewing sets, shower caps, etc. Good quality hotels provide these things as part of the room cost. The Malmaison chain actively encourage you to take the stuff home.

Caitlin17 Sun 13-Apr-14 00:48:20

Malmaison put full size bottles of good toiletries and tell you to take them with you. It is not stealing to take the individual toiletries and sewing kits from hotel rooms, you have paid for them as part of the room cost.

The toiletries at the The Ritz are specially bottled Highgrove toiletries. I'm sure those who stay there regularly don't bother taking them but am equally sure The Ritz expects that its guests who are there as a one off treat will take the toiletries.

However stock-piling sachets of salt and pepper is bonkers and weird.

OwlinaTree Sun 13-Apr-14 00:45:20

Slightly off topic but once me and DH went out with another couple for a lot of drinks. The next morning there was a jar of Coleman's mustard and a bottle of ketchup in my handbag. We all denied putting it there, but had all drank so much no one could be sure it wasn't them responsible! grinblush

AllDirections Sun 13-Apr-14 00:29:48

The local Wetherspoons now bring bottles of ketchup/mayo etc to the tables now instead of having a condiment section as too many people were nicking them and it was costing them.

My friend gives his toddler those bottles to suck the sauce from hmm I will never use sauce from 'communal' bottles again. Sachets for me or I'll do without. If he does it how many other parents let their kids do it? Totally minging angry

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