In what is arguably the most bizarre use of stolen restaurant equipment, the Houston Police Department has announced that it will no longer use table tents acquired from Whataburger as evidence markers at crime scenes across the city.
The practice was never official department policy, but the Department has now instructed its officers to stay away from using items with logos as evidence markers, according to the Houston Chronicle. "We got a lot of concerns as to whether Whataburger was endorsing us or whether we were endorsing Whataburger and whether they were a sponsor of the police department,” spokeswoman Jodi Silva told the paper.
The Department says its use of table tents as crime scene markers was born out of necessity, with officers using random items found in the area to protect evidence, including discarded coffee cups and takeout containers. Because Whataburger is on virtually every corner in Houston, the restaurant’s iconic table tents make for a quality placeholder until the Houston Forensic Center’s crime scene unit can place official evidence markers.
This isn’t the first time that Whataburger has had to ask people to stop using its table tents for reasons other than waiting for a piping hot honey butter chicken biscuit. Earlier this year, Denton County police seized a “large number” of the tents, and urged fans of the chain to stop stealing them. At that point, Whataburger restaurants were ordering new tents every week, just to keep them in stock.