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People can’t stop stealing plastic table tents from Whataburger

Police in Texas recover a cache of stolen Whataburger table tents (Photo: Northeast Police Department)
Police in Texas recover a cache of stolen Whataburger table tents (Photo: Northeast Police Department)

The latest, hottest crime trend in Texas is happening at the burger chain Whataburger: people apparently can’t stop pilfering the plastic numbered table tents given to customers as they await their order. This is according to the venerable Wall Street Journal, which reports that folks are swiping the orange-and-white tents for a variety of reasons: their jersey number, their birthdate, a digit of significance. The story says Whataburger stores, especially near high schools, are losing tents so quickly that managers have to order a new set every month. A complete set is numbered from 1 to 96, and each tent costs 25 cents.

The problem has gotten so out of hand, that police are pulling over cars and making the thieves—mostly teenagers—return the plastic tents to the restaurant.

A bacon and cheese Whataburger, which wasn’t the object of the thieves’ attention (Photo: Whataburger)

A few things:

To the kids: Stealing is stealing! It’s not a victimless crime!

To Texas police: Aww, come on, officers.

To Whataburger: How about printing the order number on the receipt, like the rest of the industrialized world? Better yet, sell the tents as merchandise—boom, a new revenue stream!

The best detail in the story is that an 18-year-old tried to sell a stolen No. 69 table tent on eBay. He set the price for $2,000. The highest bid? $69. Noooice.

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