Texans love their Whataburger — and, apparently, the tiny plastic tents that display order numbers at the iconic fast food restaurant.
Police in Cross Roads, a small town in northeast Denton County, recently recovered a “large quantity” of the order numbers that had been stolen from the local Whataburger off U.S. 380.
“We have learned that it has become a game for area teens to be removing the plastic ‘order numbers’ from the restaurant when in attendance,” the Northeast Police Department announced Saturday on Facebook, warning teens they could be cited for theft of property.
The “game” has so gotten popular, the Facebook post said, that the Police Department, at times, has more of the order numbers than Whataburger.
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The post showed pictures of what police seized compared to the current stack at the restaurant. The cops had recovered 19 numbers and the restaurant appeared to have less than that.
The numbers were discovered during a traffic stop, Northeast Police Chief James Edland said. About two weeks ago, Northeast officers found 70 stolen numbers while responding to an unrelated call.
“Whataburger is ordering a new bundle (of the numbers) every week because they disappear so fast,” Edland said. “It might be a cool thing to do, but it’s still stealing.”
By Monday, the Northeast police Facebook post had been shared more than 3,000 times and flooded with nearly 2,000 comments. People were more amused than surprised.
“Become a game?” one commenter said. “Lol. This has been happening for years.”
Another, perhaps looking to trade, said, “I still need to steal #32.”
One person bragged, “This is what my generation is known for. I couldn’t be happier :) that is not sarcasm I’m actually happy.”
The popular “Sorry, I’m a Texan” Twitter account has taken note of the tradition. And there once was a Facebook group dedicated to collecting the orange-and-white striped numbers.
Stealing Whataburger numbers is a Texas thing; y’all wouldn’t understand.— Sorry, I'm Texan (@SorryImTexan) April 16, 2014