Is it Ever OK to Steal an Umbrella?
September 15, 2019
You may be surprised that this is even a question because obviously it's never ok to steal anything. However there seems to be a common dilemma regarding stealing an umbrella if yours has been stolen first. You know the situation: you’re at a shop or restaurant and all the umbrellas are stored by the door, you reach for yours on the way out only to find out that it’s missing. Now do you a) assume someone’s taken yours by mistake and take one looking the most similar (theirs?) b) leave (report to police or manager) and accept that your umbrella has been stolen?
It’s easy to choose answer b) when its not pouring outside but what do you do if you’re risking getting completely soaked? According to Churchill in 2016, 11% of people have stolen an umbrella and 9% did not have a moral problem with stealing one. The most popular place to have your umbrella stolen appeared to be work followed by public transport and someone’s home.
In Japan, to prevent their brolly being stolen, some people came up with an idea to stick a label on their brolly handle saying “Property of Police department” or a made up department to not involve actual Police. Some people choose words “This one isn’t yours.” Unfortunately we haven't found any source proving that these techniques work. Umbrellas going missing seems to be a thing in Japan and since they’re a nation with the largest number of umbrellas per person - 3.3 (the global average is 2.4 ) we’ll trust their expertise.
There’s even an umbrella designed specifically designed to protect it from theft - the Lizard Umbrella. It comes with an on/ off handle that makes the brolly look broken and unusable when not connected. The handle also features a unique matching key that will work only on your umbrella and has a clip on design so you can attach it to your bag or trousers and avoid losing it. What a brilliant idea!
Some cheap umbrellas look very similar to each other and it is understandable that they can be taken by mistake. In a stand full of clear brollies, who can tell which one is yours? It’s all fine until you’re the last person looking for your umbrella and they’re all gone. Don't be afraid to report this to a manger or reception, they’ll very likely have a spare cheap umbrella that you can use. As much as there’s plenty of umbrellas being stolen, there’s also plenty of them being left behind and places such as a shop, office or restaurant might just have a bunch of them to hand out.