The owner of a café that was fleeced of a one litre bottle of hand sanitiser has sent a strong message to the person responsible.
Ian Henderson recalled a particularly strange conversation with a woman at his Brisbane businesses, The Total Picture Framing Co and Cafe, in Toowong, an inner city suburb, on Thursday afternoon.
He told Yahoo News Australia he spoke with her briefly before she sat in the café area of the business on a couch across from a coffee table with the hand sanitiser on top.
The next he heard was from one of his staff who asked if he had moved the bottle, because it was no longer in its usual position.
“I thought, ‘you’re joking me, really?’.”
“I bought this sanitiser trying to be a person that’s working within this framework of mindfulness. I thought, what can I do for my customers or just people walking by? And this person has nicked it.”
Mr Henderson said security cameras belonging to centre management confirmed it was the woman he had earlier had the exchange with that took the bottle for herself.
“We know that this person has actually picked up the big litre of hand sanitiser and dropped it in her handbag, and then come past me again and walked out the shop,” he said.
Following the woman’s brazen act, Mr Henderson printed out a sign directed at her in the hope she would see it and feel guilty the next time she walked past.
“To the creep who STOLE the hand sanitiser we made available for our customers’ use. You are a despicable selfish person. We hope karma bites you on the arse,” the sign erected on the coffee table read.
Mr Henderson said he wanted to make sure people knew he was not prepared to stand aside and let the thief get away with it without any consequences.
“I’m not going to stand by and not call out people being foolish and responding in such a selfish way, to something that I’ve made available to everybody who comes past and my customers,” he said.
“They’ll be a person who regularly walks past the shop and will see the sign and will hopefully feel guilty and focus a little bit on their decision to do that theft.”
Mr Henderson said the act had also been cause for some laughter among his customers and staff, due to it being “such an odd thing to do”.
“I’m anything but serious. And people have been stopping and laughing.”
He also hasn’t ruled out running a competition to see which of his customers could come up with the best one-liner about the sanitiser theft.
Public antics surrounding sought-after products like hand sanitiser, toilet paper and non-perishable food have been rife amid a rise in panic-buying due to the global coronavirus outbreak.
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