Grocery store employee may face felony theft charges for eating $9,200 of deli ham, but it's not that uncommon


.Photo: Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Before you start judging someone for eating $9,200 worth of deli ham, maybe you should ask yourself a few questions: Have you ever grabbed a couple of paper clips from your office for personal use? Or perhaps you’ve used your office’s printer and ink to print out two concert tickets for your big date on Friday night?

Employee theft” is any stealing, use or misuse of an employer’s assets without permission. In the case of an Ohio grocery store employee, her daily snacking habit, popping three to five slices of ham every day over eight years, may result in a felony charge.

According to Fox News, an unnamed employee in Bolivar, Ohio, at the grocery chain Giant Eagle ate enough ham over her tenure at the store that it resulted in $9,200 in lost revenue. According to authorities, she wouldn’t just treat herself to ham, she’d sometimes eat salami.

But, I argue, is a woman not due a slice or three of ham after dealing with customers all day? If you prick us, do we not bleed? If you tickle us, do we not laugh? If you present us with lunch meat, do we not hunger?

According to the Associated Press, the store’s loss-prevention manager received a tip that the employee had been nibbling for years. The Tuscarawas County Sheriff’s Office posted on Facebook that “felony charges are unlikely.”

According to a 2011 study by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, 75 percent of all employees steal at least once. Personally, and I feel comfortable telling you this, dear Yahoo reader, my first job out of high school was as a janitor at my high school. During a shift, when I was young and hungry, I grabbed a cookie I used to buy during fourth-period lunch. Hand to heart, I’ll donate back that 75 cents plus interest.

There are 2,920 days in eight years. If we are to believe that the employee stole mouthfuls of ham over an eight-year period, that would represent or about $9,200 worth of revenue, or the equivalent of stealing $3.15 worth of ham a day.

Plenty of Reddit members have commented on this situation in the past.

“I work at a grocery store where everything is incredibly overpriced, and they do fairly well, yet cut employee hours and have taken away vacation time. I only get paid minimum wage and i like to think i work hard and always go the extra mile, so I suppose theres a little bit of resentment. However, i have taken things from other stores and not just my work… the only things I have taken is a sandwich, a food thermometer (cuz I like to cook) and a brand of expensive cookies I like,” one user wrote

“10 paperclips a day for the past two years, just five more years and I’ll be ready…” another wrote

One employee shared about their accidental heist, “So. Many. Measuring tapes… I worked at a bra store. We were required to have one on us at all times to measure customers. I probably accidentally stole like 20.”

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