A longtime cheese factory worker was charged with stealing frozen bougatsa pastries from a Thessaloniki supermarket.
The 60-year-old bougatsa thief was found guilty and was initially sentenced to four months and ten days in jail, according to reports. However, a Thessaloniki judicial panel suspended sentence for three years.
Authorities caught the man with seven packages of frozen bougatsas, according to reports. One was hidden under his clothes and the other six packages were in his bag. The supermarket is in the municipality of Lagadas in the city’s northeast region.
The bougatsa, among the most popular sweets in all of Greece, is associated in particular with Thessaloniki. The pastry is made of phyllo dough filled with either creamy custard—and topped with cinnamon and powdered sugar—or meat.
Police Respond to Stolen Bougatsas at Thessaloniki Market
While the total value of the stolen goods was only fifteen euros, the man allegedly resisted the two police officers’ efforts to apprehend him, which may have contributed to the initial stiff sentence.
A witness to the incident described the man as combative and incoherent, according to reports, though the bougatsa thief maintained he had intended to pay for the items.
He was found guilty on a reduced charge, appealed the sentence, and was released. The man has had no previous interaction with police.
The incident is reminiscent of one in 2018 involving the supermarket chain Lidl, which pressed charges against a 70-year-old woman in Greece caught stealing 30 to 40 euros worth of food. According to reports at the time, the woman said she did it because she needed food. After she was caught, other customers in the supermarket pleaded with staff not to call the police, even offering to pay for her food, according to reports. The German chain originally filed charges against the woman but later agreed to drop them.