Lunchtime can be the highlight of any working day - until you open the fridge door to find your lunch has vanished.
The extent of the problem was highlighted after a man's Twitter thread documenting the theft of a co-worker's shrimp fried rice was liked more than 400,000 times.
Los Angeles-based Zak Toscani said his colleague was able to trace the person responsible by watching CCTV footage.
The plot thickened when it was revealed a colleague had binned the fried rice.
Case facts:— Zak Toscani (@zaktoscani) March 29, 2018
Lunch was in fridge for less than an hour before it vanished. No shrimp smell remnants in the microwave or kitchen area. This was a professional hit no doubt
The offender was out of the office at the time of the revelation, according to Mr Toscani, but arrived back at work shortly after an email had been sent to all staff warning them not to steal lunches.
After reading the email from HR, the "thief" expressed shock.
!!!! After seeing the HR email she says out loud “woah. Someone stole a lunch? Who would do something like that?” !!! I may have to run out of this room— Zak Toscani (@zaktoscani) March 30, 2018
Mr Toscani ended the thread by saying that although the staff knew who was to blame for the disappearing shrimp fried rice, they "may never know why she did it" - but some Twitter users had their theories.
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Nic Stransky assumed the colleague thought she was "being helpful".
Clearly she thought it smelled like garbage and threw it away. She thought she was being helpful. This is why she seems so oblivious to the thinly veiled accusations. She doesn't think she stole anything she thinks she did the community a service.— Nic Stransky (@strantheman) March 31, 2018
While James Mullarky believed the culprit may have been getting her own back on inconsiderate consumers of pungent foods.
In her defence. People who unleash the foul, disgusting seafood on communal kitchens are a special type of evil— James Mullarky (@jmullarky) March 30, 2018
Despite the unclear motive, the tale encouraged many people to share their similar experiences of workplace food theft, and according to J-Swizzle on Twitter, an incident he witnessed led to marriage.
Lol! This lady I work with once threw a sandwich out at her old job because she thought it was old. Turns out the dude just made the same sandwich everyday and kept it in the same place everytime. He asked who threw it out and she admitted. Now, they're married.— J-Swizzle (@Queen_JAhrens) March 31, 2018
Although Nicole File may have been frustrated at her food being eaten, she couldn't fault the thief's cleaning skills.
Best thing since lunch thief stole mine, washed my Tupperware & returned it, empty & spotless, to the fridge. 🤷♀️— Nicole File (@NicoleJMFile) March 31, 2018
But Heradasha's boss took office food-binning to a new level.
Once my boss who was on a diet threw out an entire pan of homemade brownies that someone else had left on a communal table so she wouldn't be tempted.— Heradasha (@heradasha) March 30, 2018
An. Entire. Pan.
While the shrimp fried rice saga may have ended, one thing it has taught us is that food thieves live and work among us. Always put a label on it.
By UGC and Social News team