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Friday, October 7, 2022
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Are thefts at Hawker centres common?

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I arrived in Singapore for the first time yesterday, and visited Maxwell Hawker centre today. I read online that it’s common practise to ‘claim’ tables by placing something on them, before getting food.

I left ~$30 of groceries to do this, as the only other thing I had on me at the time was my phone. When I came back with food 5 minutes later, there was a group seated there and my groceries had been taken.

Not a big deal, but I was wondering if this type of theft is common in Hawker centres? I’ll be sure to bring along something invaluable to place on tables next time.

Netizens’ comments

  • Honestly, this is the first time I’ve heard of this….. usually nothing gets taken(unless it’s cash? Likely coz they can’t find the person who dropped it) and leaving a packet of tissue would suffice for “reservation”
  • This is the first time I’ve heard of groceries being stolen, I’m so sorry you experienced this as a visiting tourist. I would advice you to place a packet of tissue instead moving forward. Hope you have a great time visiting our country!
  • Maybe they thought it was rubbish and cleared it.
  • I just saw someone using his handphone to reserve his table last week in a small coffeeshop. Even in safe Singapore, it’s the first I’ve seen and I felt nervous for him too. Like others have said, sorry you had a negative experience! Glad to hear you don’t sound too affected by it, and hope you enjoy the rest of your stay here.
  • I once choped a table at a hawker centre with a black and white portrait of myself and it worked wonders, especially during the hungry ghost month.
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