Man Steals Money During Honesty Experiment

honest tea experiment 10252015
Honest Tea

A local tea company has conducted "honesty experiments" for the past six years -- but for the very first time, someone actually stole money from a donation box.

Honest Tea says a man stole from an unstaffed tea stand in Dupont Circle that was offering $1 drinks as part of the experiment July 27.

The company offers tea for $1 using the "honor system," testing whether people will cough up the cash, or take the drink and run when they think nobody is looking.

But for the first time in the history of the experiment, someone took dishonesty a step further. Rather than just skipping the donation, the man stole money from one of the collection boxes. Honest Tea reps who were undercover at the stand, tallying results, saw it happen within the first hour of the experiment, said Honest Tea representative Kerrie Cassani-Levick.

The man is believed to have stolen between $5 and $20.

Money from the donation boxes goes to benefit the nonprofit group FoodCorps.

Unfortunately, this isn't the first time Honest Tea has dealt with theft in the District -- CEO Seth Goldman's bike was stolen two years ago during the 2013 experiment.

Goldman's bike, which displayed the Honest Tea logo, was stolen from a Metro stop while he was on his way to the booth, Cassani-Levick said.

So -- other than the theft -- how did D.C. stack up when it comes to honesty?

After tallying thousands of interactions in 27 cities across the country, Honest Tea said D.C. ranked in the middle of the pack at 94 percent honest, matching the national average. However, no one stole money in any other city, so take that with a grain of salt (or a bottle of tea... and actually, don't take the tea. You should probably pay for it).

The complete National Honesty Index results are available online here.

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