We’re Obsessed With This Twitter Tale Of Stolen Office Lunch, But Is It True?

Photo: Getty Images.
Adnan Syed, Steven Avery, Son of Sam ... and now, we can add a shrimp-stealing woman who works at a Los Angeles post-production company to the list of true crime suspects with whom we are collectively obsessed. The story of this latest, apparently remorseless perp came to us in a Twitter thread by comedian and writer Zak Toscani on Thursday afternoon.
"Co-worker got his lunch stolen and they’ve agreed to let him watch the security camera tape," Toscani tweeted on Thursday. "This is the most excited I’ve ever been at any job ever. Ever."
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Perhaps it's because having work lunch stolen is such a universal indignity of life, that this tweet went viral so quickly. How many of us wish we could catch the heartless criminal who snatched our carefully packed brown bags, who deprived us of the leftover Thai food that was the one bright thing we'd looked forward to all morning. Maybe it was the way Toscani drew the story out, tweet by tweet.
"HOLY SHIT. He’s back. He watched the tape. He knows who did it," he teased.
Or it could be how we can both identify with the victim and also question why anyone would think it's okay to eat shrimp fried rice in an office setting.
It turns out, the thief was a woman who sits right next to Toscani and across from the victim, and she was conveniently away from her desk when everyone learned of her act. The video showed her taking the food out of the fridge and tossing it right into the trash. The victim told HR not to do anything about this crime. But the story doesn't end there.
"She has walked into the room," Toscani wrote. "And the room is dead silent. Dead fucking silent yet there is a palpable explosive energy pulsing through everyone but her."
This woman is baffling. Even as she read an HR email asking people not to steal each other's lunches, she remained completely cool. Attempting to rattle her, Toscani ordered new shrimp fried rice plates for himself, the victim, and the thief. Still she smiled and ate without batting an eyelash. Truly, we all thought as we read along, this is the sign of a psychopath. Then the story unsatisfyingly ends there, with Toscani feeling unsettled about knowing the true nature of his coworker.
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By Saturday, the thread has 7,000 comments, 151,000 retweets, and 490,000 likes. There are celebrities among its fans, including Emmy Rossum, who offered to do a dramatic reading of the story on Instagram Stories, and Patricia Arquette, who is just relieved that no Cinnabons were harmed in its making.
Lin-Manuel Miranda was even impressed by the mysterious ending.
Like any good true crime drama, there are conspiracy theories. Many want to know more about the motives involved. Eater reached out to Toscani to ask him straight up if it is fiction. Vanity Fair writer Richard Lawson braved the ire of Twitter by calling him out on it.
"If it's real, publicly narcing on your colleagues under the managerial surveillance state bc of a minor transgression is lame and bad," Lawson wrote. "I applaud the offended party for diligently disposing of suspicious shellfish."
Some argued with Lawson that the lameness of the ending and the weird detail about how the victim decided to put a warm dish in the refrigerator before eating it were proof that it couldn't be fiction. Others just didn't want their illusions shattered.
If it is true, we most certainly want to know want a follow-up on Monday morning, to see if this woman has the strength not to step up and embrace her infamy.
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