How to Handle Office Theft

noWhether someone intentionally swiped your Ginger Ale in the communal refrigerator or lifted a ten dollar bill from your desk, let’s face it — office theft is theft and it certainly feels violating. Major thumbs down.

You start detesting the feeling of having to lock valuables up and then you start wondering about the identity of the culprit. The intern a few cubicles down? Mailroom guy? Even — gasp — your boss?

Instead of pointing fingers, try not to let it interfere with your day. What you can do instead of accusing anyone, especially if you’re a boss, is to address it at a staff meeting.

For instance, in The New York Post, one reader indicated someone is likely stealing Keurig coffee cups. The columnist’s suggestion? Say something like:

“Hey — K-Cups are flying out of here faster than a caffeine-powered rocket — more than can possibly be consumed. So we’ve got a few choices: Take the machine away, dispense K-Cups like meds or install security cameras around the coffee machine.”

Although technically it’s company property and not your own, theft is theft and coffee cups add up. And if stealing persists and doesn’t seem to cease, you may need to get HR involved as well as security to take a look at security cameras.

Usually (in our experience, at least), office theft ended up stopping once the culprit realized it was an issue and people were noticing. In another case, someone who stole random change from people’s desk drawers after hours was promptly fired.

So, focus on your job and focus on doing it well and keep it in the back of your mind that anything valuable should be locked up.