City diners a light-fingered lot

JENNA LYNCH
Last updated 05:00 13/11/2012
 Soraya Dubler
Bruce Mercer/ Fairfax NZ
TAKE OUT: Waitress Soraya Dubler, of Furnace bar and restaurant, with a pot plant stolen from the bar, but later found on the thief’s Facebook page.

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While most of us enjoy a night out for the food and wine, some revellers are leaving city establishments with more than they came in with.

Hospitality managers say they are spending thousands every year replacing items stolen patrons, from cutlery and glassware to outdoor furniture and toilet seats.

Yep, toilet seats.

"Quite often at the end of the night we'd find toilet seats that had been ripped off, but every once in a while you just wouldn't find the seat," said Ethan Clark, ex-doorman at The Bank, on Victoria St, Hamilton.

And although the blokes may be having a chuckle at this frathouse prank, it was usually the loo seats from the ladies' that disappeared.

Lawrenson Group director John Lawrenson confirmed toilet seats were often a target for light-fingered souvenir hunters.

"I don't know how they get them out or why."

Mr Lawrenson said petty thefts were costing his hospitality group a five-figure sum annually.

"The amount of stuff that gets stolen is disgusting. It'd be amazing if it stopped, but I don't see that happening."

Most recently he found a photo of a stolen pot plant from his bar Furnace on one of the culprit's Facebook page.

Other items stolen from hospitality outlets include a wine barrel, a highchair, toilet paper dispensers and beer taps.

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- Waikato Times

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