By Graham von Carlowitz, Opinion Editor

Six bananas. That’s the heftiest haul I’ve carried out this year and the most demonic act of thievery I’ve ever committed. The dining halls don’t warn against stealing anything at all, which means I probably have the worry-free chance to fill a mop bucket with ice cream and leave the scene of the crime unscathed. But I might have bigger plans.

I got the idea of using a mop bucket — another item I would have to steal — from some up-and-coming bandits of Heritage Commons, where I live. Apparently, these mysterious figures’ thievery warranted an email to all tenants from the Residence Hall Manager, who pleaded with them, writing, “If you currently have a mop and mop bucket that belong to our staff, please return it ASAP!”

The Thief Bucketeers, as I have named the bandits, have since raised the bar. While at first I suspected they would stick to the mop bucket game, stealing one each week and eventually unveiling a life-sized bucket sculpture of a janitor, the group proved their flexibility and stole a cart from the package center.

While it is possible that the cart was simply borrowed and forgotten about, I assumed these funny fellas consciously took it and made silly jokes about how cart rhymes with fart, an assumption I base solely on the fact that I would have done the same thing.

I admit, I have been following the Thief Bucketeers so intently only because I want in. Alas, they won’t be easy to catch. They leave no trails or bucket insignias at the scenes of crime, they have an entirely random stealing agenda and refuse to respond to pleading emails.

For a while the Bucketeer case was a cold one, so I began building a worthy resume in case they popped up and offered me a spot. Other than my successful banana escapades and stealing toothpaste from my friend’s house ten years ago, my resume is admittedly rather feeble. Thankfully, I had a library book I planned on returning two days past its due date and my roommate recently restocked his impressive cheese stick collection, one I was itching to dismember.

No sooner had I built up the courage to take one than I saw a new tube of cavity protection Crest toothpaste on the kitchen table — a prophetic sign, I mused. Before I smuggled it back to my side of the apartment, I received an email from the Resident Director reporting, “Last week some laundry was removed from a dryer and taken.”

No, man, our community laundry room was robbed. The Great Laundry Room Heist of 2016 saw the intentional removal of someone’s laundry from a dryer in what I thought was the Bucketeers’ most fruitful takeaway yet. Just think: with a heap of freshly dried clothes, you can relive those exciting leaf pile days — this time without kissing the concrete leaves; you can put all the shirts on and waddle into brick walls; you can even arrange outfits on the ground to appear as if the people wearing them were zapped up by a UFO. Then you can waddle into the brick wall again because of all the clothes you have!

I’m all for sumo wrestling with the wall, but at some point, amid all the fun, you have to feel odd about wearing someone else’s clothes, freshly cleaned or not. The Thief Bucketeers, I began to realize, were thrill-seekers, willing to do anything to feed their addiction.

Accordingly, their next move would have to be stealing multiple loads of laundry in one fell swoop.

That’s where I find myself now — aware of this group of renegades and awaiting their next move. To protect my people, I plan on dropping bits of garlic into each dryer, thus tainting the clothes to unbearable degrees and leaving the Bucketeers with no choice other than to steal from the washing machine side. They will then experience the ultimate discomfort of wearing wet clothes, dripping behind a trail to their hideout.

I will steal that mop bucket not just for my ice cream. No, I have a bigger calling in this world, and it starts with mopping up this mess — that of the Thief Bucketeers.

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