“We Will Get You,” Store Promises Vinegar Thief

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The owner of the Newport Avenue Market in Bend, Oregon, is fed up with whoever has been stealing bottles of expensive balsamic vinegar from the market for over a year now.  This is why a sign now hangs in the relevant section that reads, "Thanks to the Balsamic Vinegar Thief this area is now under surveillance.  We will get you."

According to the owner, Rudy Dory, the thief is someone "with good taste."  Spurning lesser balsamic vinegars, he or she has swiped only the more expensive kinds, those that sell for $30 or $40 per bottle.  (I found that you can order balsamic vinegars online that cost up to $175 per 3-oz bottle (!), but it's not clear whether the store actually stocks these Trump-level brands.)  This seems to suggest a gourmet who developed a taste for the good stuff but who, like so many others, has since fallen on hard times, and has now turned to crime in order to satisfy the terrible craving.

The Thief has apparently not fallen so far, however, that he or she will settle for Rachael Ray's swill, which can be had for a mere 44 cents per ounce.

Dory did not provide an estimate of how much he has lost to the Thief during the past year, but it was enough for staff to notice that they were buying "a lot more balsamic vinegar" than they were selling.  "It really irritates you," Dory said, which explains the sign and its steely promise of vengeance.

But that promise may not have been fulfilled.  Workers believe they may have actually caught the Thief about two months ago, but the store declined to press charges.  Dory would provide no details about the incident, saying only that the suspect was a woman.  "We don't know if we got the person or not," he admitted.  He also conceded that vinegar has continued to disappear from store shelves (although at a reduced rate), suggesting that the Balsamic Vinegar Thief continues to stalk the area.

Link: AP via Yahoo! News