Albuquerque, NM – Thieves are making a habit out of stealing toilet pipes from a number of area businesses.
Authorities explained that thieves have recently struck a number of public bathrooms in Albuquerque. According to the Los Angeles Times, the crooks are interested in the metal pipes that cause the toilets to automatically flush.
The list of businesses hit by the thieves include Home Depot, Lowe’s, and Arby’s. Police believe the bandits are responsible for damaging around 15 public bathrooms in recent days. Security footage suggests that one man might be responsible for these crimes. However, authorities believe others are likely involved.
Albuquerque police spokeswoman Tasia Martinez explained:
“We have local recylers continuing the perpetuate the issue but buying the product on the black market. It’s pretty lowdown.
KOB reports that employees assumed the people stealing the toilet pipes were plumbers who had been hired to address a problem in the bathroom. Although the thieves usually get around $30 for each pipe, it generally costs the businesses around $400 to repair the damage.
The New Mexico Department of Licensing and Regulations is currently investigating M&M Recycling for purchasing these stolen items. However, other businesses are believed to be buying the stolen items as well.
Authorities said there could be more victims in this crime spree. Police said some businesses may not have reported the damage. No arrests have been made as of this writing.
However, this isn’t the first time someone has decided to make a living out of stealing pipes from toilets. According to NBC News, a plumber in Colorado was busted for stealing a number of fixtures from over 18 restrooms in Denver.
By the time all was said and done, 48-year-old Donald Allen Citron had sold around $6,000 from the pipes and valves he’d stolen from fast food restaurants, universities, and hospitals. His spree earned him the nicknamed “Crapper Scrapper.”
[Image by Wikimedia Commons]