Thefts in cafeteria create difficulty for staff; Workers address stealing issues

Grace Feldbush, Social Media/Event Coordinator

      Mrs.Earliene Klapka is the Food Service Manager for multiple schools including North Harford High School. Since the beginning of the year, she and her co-workers have seen a rise in the number of thefts taking place. 

     Klapka explains certain groups of students have been going into the cafeteria and handing water bottles to each other without paying for them. “When we catch them, they have the labels off and they tell us they brought them from home, but we know they did not because the waters are chilled,” Klapka says.  

     Klapka says another common stealing method is when students take peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and put them in their clothing. “They mostly put them in their pockets, or they bring their lunch bags in here and fill their bags with cafeteria food,” Klapka says.  

     Klapka explains if the stealing keeps up at this rate, they will have no choice but to stop selling snacks and will only have free lunches along with water available.   

     Klapka explains the ladies at the register informed her that there were enormous amounts of stealing going on. “When I first caught someone stealing, I saw them put food in their pocket and I told the lady at the register to ask what was in their pocket,” Klapka says. She explains he took the food out and was directed to assistant principal Ms. Mock for punishment.  

     She explains at least 25 sandwiches are stolen a day, along with multiple waters, chips, and other snacks. “When you add all the money up, those cost it’s more than you think we lose,” Klapka says. Klapka states, “You are getting a free meal every day, if you want extras, you must make sure to have money in your account.”  

     “One girl stole five waters at once, that one girl cost us five dollars,” Klapka says. She explains over 100 dollars have been lost, but even more than that. She says the massive amounts of stealing have been occurring since we came back into the school building.  

     Klapka’s message to kids stealing is, “You think you are getting away with something, but you are just hurting the whole school, because if it keeps up everyone has to suffer through the consequences of no snacks, which is not fair to those who pay.”  

     Klapka says at first students thought everything was free, which was the reason for stealing, but now all students are informed snacks cost extra. She believes it is just kids seeing if they can get away with stealing, and could lead from trends on TikTok that students are trying to participate in.  

     “I really hope this stops because I am shocked at how much is being stolen, it has never been so bad in the ten years I have been here,” Klapka states.