…but any way they resemble the buffoons at the fair, who beg, grab and filch material, here and there and everywhere, in order later to deal it out in a small folio…
-- Nikolai Gogol, The Diary of a Madman and Other Stories
Still, gobbling real food after days of clean garbage and public filch, she had let her antennae droop.
-- Toni Morrison, Love
Filch is of unknown origin. It may be related to the name for a kind of hook that could be used to steal small items from kitchen windows. It also may have come from the Middle English word filchen meaning "to attack (in a body), take as booty."