The Joy of Pilfering

I was in the works canteen this morning. My usual SOP is to wander in, buy two pieces of toast and wander back out again. All the breakfast stuff is a buffet style affair. You grab whatever you want and give some money to the one-toothed hag behind the till.

This morning was different. I walked in. No one behind the till. No white toast. I stuck my head behind the kitchen door, and said to the fat c-unt who makes the food.

"Any chance of some white toast, please mate?"

"No probs, it'll be out in a minute"

I went back out and waited by the empty toast plate. I had a bit of a look round. Still no one at the till. Lovely. I grabbed two pieces of bacon and quickly stuffed them in my grid. I'm not bacon's biggest fan, but stolen bacon has a taste all its own. As I started chewing it, the till dragon came back from smoking her Kensington Javelin (99p for 500) and clocked me. Trying to look innocent, I turned my back to her and carried on troughing my pilfered treat. When the toast came out, i'd managed to swallow the bacon, so was able to pay for my two pieces of warm bread (42p, the robbing tw-ats) and not the bacon (30p a slice you fcuking thieving arabs). A job well done i'd say. Being the introspective sort of individual that I am, I took to thinking about my thieving. Why did I nick the bacon. I had the dosh. I don't even like bacon that much. I came to the conclusion, that like blimping and bezzering, pilfering is a skill, best kept well honed.

The first time I nicked anything I was 8 and dared to so by a bunch of my mates. Pickerings newsagents on Platt Lane was the target. Sweets fcuking everywhere and just two doddery old gits minding the shop. Trouble was, they were very child aware, one served and one kept a beady eye on any scruffy little munchkins like me. At no point was there an opportunity to nick anything so I just bought a 10p mix and made my way towards the door. I could see the rest of the lads waiting for me expectantly and didn't want to disappoint. I had one last chance to bag some swag. When I got outside they were all, "What did you get, what did you get, show us convoy, come on, come on."

I opened my coat to reveal.................................a copy of 'Jaws' by Peter Benchley. Truly I was the artful dodger of Fallowfield town. As they ribbed me the whole way home, I realised that pilfering skills were worth having and vowed to continue my education. The book came in handy as well. As usual, I got caught short, and pages 1 to 37 were used to render my 8 year old tea-towel holder, clag free.

Come on arrsers, tell of your pilfering exploits, the more daring the better. Remember though, all pilfering must be done from 'the man' Any mate on mate action deserves ball pein hammering to the knuckles of both hands.
got lifted by the bizzies for robbing some sweets out of woolworths. we got told by our ultra cool mate it was a piece of piss to rob from there.

as we left the shop a big fat security guard gripped us. we were held by the security bloke for a whole hour shitting ourselves, untill the coppers turned up.
copper questioned us etc. trouble was we both had about 40 quid on us at the time. along with some cheapo cider we were going to abuse that night. (not stolen cider) the copper scratched his head. said he was going to phone the parents when we got home. so off we ran and tried to get home to intercept the call. it was too late. mega striesand was on the war path. i got such a bollocking. managed to lock myself in the bog for an hour whilst my mum went spastic at me. refusing to come out untill i thought it was safe.

this daring excapade earnt me one month grounded, my air rifle taken away and all my snes games sold on... what a shit month that was. towards the end i was allowed girls to visit. which provided some relief(!)
I managed to get a mountain bike.

Let me explain how this came about,
We were on tour in Bosnia and the Regt being what it was decided when it deployed, sent every man Jack and Vehicle over there , as they couldnt be arrsed to have a word with the unit we were taking over from to find out exactly what was required.

Anyway after a little time, and all these wagons sat around doing nothing the Regt decided to send the unused ones back to Germany.
The day came for the wagons to be driven to the port and as i walked out of the cook house i seen a Yank airforce blerk rest his bike against the wall.

Temptation over came me, I dont know call it shinney thingy syndrome, but i had to have that bike.Before i knew what i was doing i was peddalling away like a mad possesed back to the signals compound, and straight up to one of my hoppo's who was locking up his wagon.
I managed to talk him into opening the wagon for a few minutes while i stored the bike aboard. My mate then stuck a crypt seal on the wagon, and away it went.

I was gleaming with joy at my bounty i would receive when i returned to Germany, right up to the point where the said yank airforce blerk turned up in the compound asking every one if they had seem his bike.

How i managed to keep a straight face i will never know.
I still posess the Risk board game from welfare at Umm Qasar, well they shouldnt have bloody packed up and left us there when the set up at shaibah cnuts!!!!
Being the stylish bloke I am, I always try to eat in a supermarket 'restaurant' when out with the Family Awol. All the supermarkets have their quirks and disadvantages, but I like to think that I am a bit of an expert by now and can pick a good 'un from several miles away. The one thing I insist on however, is a paper to read while I'm eating. In some supermarkets (Sainsbury's, for example) there is always a natty little chromed rack nailed to a vertical RSJ displaying all of the daily rags, most sodden from soaking for several hours in spilt egg yolk and baked bean juice, but in others (read Asda) there is quite often nothing to read except the back of the strawberry yoghurt pot that Mrs Awol is dipping into to feed Awol Junior.

This annoys me. I mean, how much is it going to cost a multinational supermarket chain to provide half a dozen newspapers at trade price every day? Not to mention the fact that it encourages people to stay longer, spending more money. Fools.

So, feeling righteous and indignant, I've started to wander over to the newspapers displays, select my Telegraph of the day and then spread it out all over the table, sometimes over Junior's head, but almost always over most of the table, while I tuck into whatever delicacy the 'chef' of the day has served up.

For a while, I would then chuck the remnants of the paper (plus egg yolk, baked beans juice etc), into the trolley, follow Mrs Awol around while she did that shopping thing, and then pay for the paper at the checkout with everything else several hours later. day it occurred to me....Why not read the paper entirely, and then just leave it on the table?

Heart in mouth, feeling like the b&stard offspring of Ronnie Biggs and the Kray twins, I tried it one day. I lost my bottle halfway around the store afterwards and had to leave Mrs Awol at the Shampoo and Shower Gel whilst I went outside to wait in the car 'for a bit of air'.... The next time, after a sleepless night I lasted until the checkout, but then had to 'use the loo'.

The third time I was getting better, used the paper, left it on the table and wandered outside almost casually. I think I even whistled.

Now of course, I'm a veteran Telegraph thief. I brazenly read it, abandon it and walk outside, even pausing sometimes to look the 'guard' from Misnomer Security full in the face. I'm trying to work up to a wink, but I think that might be going too far.

Someone said to me that it's not really stealing, because I don't take it from the shop. But I know better.
Convoy old chap, Jaws was not a bad bit of pilphering for an 8 year old. As I recall there was a borderline bit of knocker on display from the soon to be shark poo swimmer. Which for an 8 year old in the relatively conservative 70s was gold dust.
As for my pilphering, other than series 3 landrover rubies to replace mine that had been nicked, or the kit kat out of the watchkeepers death pack in the ops room in BFPO 12, my half inching has always been a bit crap. Mind you I did snaffle some shredder blade oil from the office to use on my hair clippers for the weekly doming, that was about the most useful thing I ever robbed.
That's if you don't count the armful of 'lady's smalls' that I liberated from the dohbi room in tampax towers (shortly before swamping in dryer, letting down the tyres on their mountain bikes, and making off with their bog rolls to alliviate the trap paper famine in the dude's block.)
But weirdos who take your socks from the drying room should be sectioned.
If you're tooling around Eelmore and think that the rocky sections are a little less, well, rocky, you'd be right. Last year I removed a couple of dozen 25-30kg rocks for the lovely new alpine corner of my garden.
There was absolutely no sense in me nicking them, it involved half a dozen trips back and forth with my bergan, a couple of k each way to the car park on a baking hot 30C Sunday. I could have had them delivered by Kebur or B&Q for half a days pen-pushing pay, instead I endured 12 hours of Papillon-esque torture.
Still, the sense of satisfaction I get when I sit outside on a sunny morning tucking into a large mug of monkey and a banjo, watching the bees buzzing around my saxifrage, and knowing that I screwed "the man" makes it all worthwhile.
I did something really awful, never pilfered in my life until not so long ago.

My father passed away recently so the usual arrangements are put in place, he was being cremated. We thought it would be nice for him to wear his army blazer & tie etc etc but we had forgotten to take the socks! So en route to the funeral parlour my sister and I went to a well known high street store to buy some. I didnt know that it is now impossible to buy one pair of socks. You have to buy about 3 pairs in a pack ! Not a chance was I going to hand over a ridiculous amount of money, all I wanted was a pair of socks, after all they were only going to go up in smoke! So I thought this is it, whilst the socks were hanging there, I slowly ripped the cardboard off (its what holds them all together) and stuffed a pair up the sleeve of my jacket. My heart was going ten to the dozen and my throat had gone so dry knowing that I had stolen something and I had to get out of the store hoping no one had seen. I told my sister what I had done and she had a mega panic on as I didnt realise there was one of those security cameras right over me! Having never pilfered anything - I was now bricking it. It was at the point when I had to walk out of the store past those alarm detectors, I sort of did a hop skip and a jump through them (you never know, there might have been an alarm inside the sock!) and left the store. I just cant believe that I put myself through that traumatic experience for the sake of not spending £12.

It did give us a giggle afterwards, especially when I told my brothers, they said that Dad would see the funny side of it as his humour was quite sick. My Dad got cremated in a pair of knocked off socks!!
We were goose-stepping around some wee village in the BFPO 803 area when some fenian took offence at our presence.

When it got dark, we did a few trips round his neighbours gardens liberating garden ornaments. Everything from garden gnomes to sets of plastic chairs and tables with parasoles. Even one of those proper park benches. We then dumped the lot in his garden.

The patrol took us 4 hours......and by the time we were finished, his garden looked like the back end of a B&Q Warehouse.

Feck him.

Edited for spelling.
Denmark in the 80's. On ex with a certain hackled Bn. Last nite before trip home. Coy makes the biggest mistake ever and lets the lads out on the p*ss!! They all fcuk off down town. I said I would follow later. After 2 bottles of french sh*t water and some scottish water I too proceeded downtown. All I had to do was follow the noise and there I was. Turned out to be a shit idea and headed for camp. At this moment someone or something nicked about 3 hrs of my memory!!!! But I do recall walking back to camp with over £500 of music keyboard!!! Next morning one of the guard showed me it, hidden in the back bin of his wagan and said, "Where the fcuk did you get this?" To which the reply was, "Fcuk Knows!!!!" Best bit I got the said item back to UK and flogged it for £350 and a mate's police G/F picked up the cheque!!! Quality!!! Still don't know how I got it though!!!!
The joy of pilfering bacon (and anything else) from the workplace canteen.

Saunter in for breakfast, carefully load up plate and finish the lot of with a pile of beans disguising your ill gotten goods.

hit till and nod sagely as girlie sees only the one slice of bacon, coyly peeking out the edge of the beans.

Doesn't always work but a small pleasure when it does.
When we were on the Rwanda op in 1994, we tried to pilfer a load of American campcots.

There were 8 of us in our room. Only two of us had the Yank ones. Everyone else had the British Tarantula sanctuarys. Two inches off the deck till you got your fat arrse on them, then the only thing separating you from the floor was 3mm of dry-piss infused canvas.

Something had to be done. Myself and URFA took it upon ourselves to conduct a Robin Hood escapade to rob from the rich (americans) and give to the poor (us lot). We took a half ton landrover to Kigali airport and had a snoop around. Within a couple of minutes we'd spotted a lovely yank four-tonner full of the fcukers. We backed the rover up and helped ourselves to the 6 required. We then looked at each other and had the same thought. 'Convoy and URFAs Campcot Emporium' supplying superior bedding to tramps like us, for knockdown prices. We were having a right giggle at our top quality thievery. The back of the rover was nearly full, when a big fcuking master sergeant, who looked like Isaac Hayes showed up and said.

"Hey, what the fcuk are you guys doing."

We immediately dropped into the standard kids response. We looked at our shoes and said "Nothing"

"You muthafcukers taking cots?"

Very quietly, still looking at feet "yes"

"Sh-it boys, help yo-fcuking selves. They be doing no muthafcuker no fcuking good in the back o' that machine. Take as many as you need"

But it was sh-it after that. We didn't really want the cots. We were only enjoying the nicking. Where was the fcuking fun in letting us have them. He'd spoiled it, the bas-tard. We got a few and drove off. Fortunately for us, it was a ten minute drive back to the camp. This gave us ample time to fabricate a story, which involved a Smokey and the Bandit style car chase across the pan, finishing with the Master Sergeant, fading in to our rearview mirror, shaking his fist, shouting

"I'll get 'dem pesky Englishmen if it's the last thing I do."
In all my time of living and traveling the countryside with the Tankie, I don't think I've seen him produce a single piece of kit that was actually issued by the British Army except for his DPMs.

What do they do on joint ops, just give you guys a toothbrush and a couple of new pairs of drawers, and tell you: "Fcuk it, you can steal the rest from the Yanks, better for our budget"?
TankiesYank said:
What do they do on joint ops, just give you guys a toothbrush and a couple of new pairs of drawers, and tell you: "Fcuk it, you can steal the rest from the Yanks, better for our budget"?
They dont say it, it is a sort of unwritten rule - an understanding that exists between a squaddie and his QM.
Remember, if its not nailed down, then its yours, if it is nailed down, then take the fecking nails too.
Posession is 9/10ths of the law, and if the law doesn't catch you its all yours.

These 'rules' only apply to collective kit and not to that belonging to an individual. (unless he is foreign of course)
theoriginalphantom said:
Remember, if its not nailed down, then its yours, if it is nailed down, then take the fecking nails too.
Posession is 9/10ths of the law, and if the law doesn't catch you its all yours.

These 'rules' only apply to collective kit and not to that belonging to an individual. (unless he is foreign of course)
If it moves, nick it. If it doesn't move, nick it anyway, it might move later.
On stagg at Minley Manor in 1990 there was some TA ex going on over in BAOR and they decided to park up there waggons for safety in Minley away from all the thieving Billies over the road at Gib.
All these lovely packed 4 tonners loaded with shiny kit and under the care of me and my collueges.
Roving patrol was never so much fun as in the early hours we'd load up with gear carry it down through the graveyard over the road into the woods round Gib where we cached it until the next afternoon when ones of us would nip out in the car load up and drive back into Gib.

Ahh happy days.
Nice thread. I was about 8 or 9 when the Cameron Brothers (in their early teens) got me and a couple of other mates to come along for some nickin'. On a near by farm was a caravan with some slabs of beer on view. We got in, took the stuff and went into the woods to sup it. I've never forgotten the shite taste of Light Ale. Anyway, a couple of days later the grown ups came around our way and asked questions, you know kids always slip up. Then they asked me the most nervous kunt in the village. I denied all knowledge but just as they were about to walk away I heard myself bleet in a helpful tone, "The Cameron Brothers might know who did it!" The whole story then unfolded and the Camerons 'squeeled'. Imagine the surprise of the grown ups when they came to our house to see my parents and I opened the door!!!! Our punishment was to dismantle the old caravan for scrap which was an adventure in itself.

A few years ago with other smelly squaddies on a ferry. Had a beer too many (i.e. one beer in my case) and at the hot plate grabbed a steak lashed in succulant brown gravy and stuck it in my jacket inside pocket. Got to the table and proudly lobbed it onto my plate and scoffed it. Tasted ace. All that nickin' and I'm not even a scouser.
I have always been light-fingered in "institutional settings". Indeed during my recent bout of ill health I have seldom walked out of a hospital without pockets filled with those little disposable torches, stitch remover blades, dressings, the whole nine yards. The thing is, I don't really have a plan about what to do with them when I get them...

Back in the days in green I was always on the look-out for buckshee compo, if it was lying around I would have it away. I once picked up a complete box and was legging it for safety when the storeman appeared. "Oh hang on a minute sir," quoth the short, downgraded slipper wearing one, "I'll carry that out to your vehicle!" It was with great joy I bought the QM a beer that lunch time!

US cots - the old Rwandan story is great but the massive theft of US cots at Kiseljak will probably never be surpassed. A container load was nicked - all except the container. I know this happened because I wrote the entry in the Div. log when Rear started moaning that ARRC Rear "knew that British soldiers had taken them". We acted dumb and that night slept soundly on..our US cots.

Leatherman - so much better for proffing things than SAK, due to the pliers. Even things wired down for security can be effortlessly snipped away and restored to the safe keeping of Cuddles.

If it isn't nailed down, then they are practically offering it "free to good home"...anyone need a gross of rubber gloves and a white coat?

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