Peak Beckery: Brooklyn Woman Steals from Local Black-Owned Bakery, Then Calls Her Actions ‘Harmless’

Illustration for article titled Peak Beckery: Brooklyn Woman Steals from Local Black-Owned Bakery, Then Calls Her Actions ‘Harmless’
Screenshot: Kim Vann Instagram account

We know, we know, we throw the word “Becky” around a lot in these parts. But sometimes, there really is no other word that qwhite captures that particular blend of Caucasity, entitlement, split ends and aggressive victimhood.


“Becky” is such a thing that Merriam-Webster (a.k.a. the damn dictionary) says they’re keeping their eye on the word, and cited none other than The Root’s Michael Harriot and VSB’s Damon Young as two of the world’s foremost Becky experts.

All of this to say, we know our Beckys, and we have another chapter to add to our exploration of Beckydom. This particularly installation comes to us from none other than (quick, put on your pretend-surprise face) Brooklyn, N.Y.

In this particular incident, an unidentified Becky, eager to get into some shenanigans or, possibly, just running several hours early for her goat yoga class, decided to steal a piece of decor from The Bakery on Bergen.

As Gothamist writes, the decor in question was a beloved topiary dog. And by topiary dog, I mean a dog tree. A dog made out of tree. Or leaves. Or bush. Either way, it’s a silly thing to steal, requiring an equally silly, entitled person to steal it.

Enter Thieving Thelma. A prime contender for the coveted (and very competitive) “Most Beckiest Becky to Ever Beck” title.

Unbeknownst to Thelma, her crime was caught on surveillance cameras by the bakery’s owner, Kim Vann, a black and Asian woman whose shop recently underwent a makeover.


Vann posted footage of the theft, which happened Saturday, on Monday via her Instagram account.

In the video, Thelma can be seen kicking over the dog (a Jedi Becky trick?) before picking it up, tucking it in her arm and casually walking off.


But here’s the thing: the unidentified Brooklynite wasn’t even at peak Becky when she stole the topiary dog. Not even close. It was her subsequent explanation/defense/apology (yes, she did all of these three things simultaneously)—and her comedically over-the-top return of the beloved decor—that launched her into the upper echelons of Beckydom.


After Vann’s video made the rounds on social media (getting a boost from Vann’s friend, “Breakfast Club” radio co-host Angela Yee), Thieving Thelma reached out to Vann and Yee.

Screenshot courtesy of Kim Vann
Screenshot courtesy of Kim Vann

“I saw the video of me stealing your ivy dog and I am so sorry, it seemed harmless to me,” wrote the thief in what appears to be an email. “I did not think it was a sentimental item and I apologize for taking your property without permission and definitely regret being so stupid.”

She concluded by saying she would get the dog back to her and apologized “profusely” for any inconvenience.


She also sent a DM with a similar message, telling Vann she felt “horrible” about the theft and adding that she “did not think I was hurting anyone.”

Screenshot courtesy of Kim Vann
Screenshot courtesy of Kim Vann

Of course, whether an item has sentimental value to an owner is inconsequential. It doesn’t matter if a theft is “harmless”—and that’s not for the thief to decide, at any rate—nor does it matter if anyone was “hurt.” The only thing that matters is that The shit. Does. Not. Belong. To. You.

When neither Vann nor Yee responded to the messages sent to them, Thieving Thelma got on the defensive. Speaking to the Gothamist, she had this to say for herself:

“The dog has been returned and it seems the bakery has gotten some much needed publicity from it and all is back where its supposed to be,” said the burgling Becky.


“I meant no ill will and unless the owner wants to reach out to me personally that’s all I have to say,” she continued. “I reached out to the owner to make it right almost immediately and instead of responding made a marketing campaign out of it. Good for her. I wish the bakery all the success apologize for my actions and hope we can all move on from this.”

Whew. Stealing from a local business and then attempting to drag them for making “a marketing campaign” because they publicized your crime. That’s some high-grade Caucasity. Good enough to win you a week’s supply of raisins.


But is it peak Becky? Nope. We’re not there just yet.

Yes, Thieving Thelma did end up returning the dog, but in classic Becky style, she did it in the way where she would be least accountable, which is to say, she didn’t do that shit herself. Instead, she got a dude in a hoodie to handle her dirty work for her.

Surveillance footage from The Bakery on Bergen in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn.

Surveillance footage from the bakery shows a man carrying the dog inside a big, black plastic bag and tucking it behind one of the shop’s plants. Because why look the person from whom you stole in the eye when you return their things?


And that, my dears, is how you Becky. Without any real regret, apology or accountability.

It’s so textbook, you might as well put it in the dictionary.

Staff writer, The Root.



You know what tho? I get her non apology, cause stealing is a THING for middle class/rich white girls. It’s really wild actually. But it is. It’s a coming of age thing for them and they do it all the time like it’s nothing. They go to CVS or wherever and just steal shit cause they can, and because they are white and women they don’t get in trouble. It’s how they learn and confirm culturally that they’ll never really be held accountable for their actions. And if they are there is always a white man to bail them out using benevolent sexism.

It’s why they work so hard on behalf of white supremacy or never really strongly challenging it.