Police in North Carolina found a stolen truck this week containing some very precious cargo — close to 18,000 pounds of toilet paper.
Deputies in Whitsett made the discovery after pulling over a truck on Wednesday as it approached a warehouse just off Interstate 40. As the Winston Salem Journal reported, the Guilford County Sheriff’s Department located and followed the truck as it made its way to the warehouse, finding that it was hauling a mixture of toilet paper and other commercial paper products.
The shipment itself was lawful and the warehouse where it ended up is legitimately run, a department spokesperson said, but the truck itself was stolen. Deputies were later able to help get the toilet paper shipment to its proper destination.
The alleged heist came as toilet paper has been in short supply across the country amid panic buying during the outbreak of the coronavirus. Shelves have been picked clean in locations around the United States, with many major retail outlets limiting people in purchases of the necessity.
Some who have been unable to pick up toilet paper amid the panic have sometimes turned to more drastic measures. As The Inquisitr reported, the community of Redding, California, has experienced sewer blockages as residents have turned to using shredded t-shirts as a replacement to toilet paper. Local officials were forced to send a wastewater crew to clear the clog, and they later handed out flyers in residential areas warning people not to use t-shirts as a substitute for toilet paper.
It was not clear if the stolen truck in North Carolina was related to the toilet paper shortage. In some places, people have been caught stocking up on hard-to-find items like toilet paper and cleaning supplies and flipping them for hiked up prices online. As The Inquisitr reported earlier this week, one man who bought 17,700 bottles of hand sanitizer with the intention of selling them online for high prices ended up donating the stash after becoming a target for the internet’s ire. The man, Matt Colvin, had been featured in an article from The New York Times about plans to purchase and distribute the necessity to coronavirus-fearing shoppers.
Police in North Carolina have not yet made an arrest in the case of the stolen truck but said the driver is under investigation. The person’s name has not yet been released, the Winston Salem Journal reported, as police said that the issue was “fairly sensitive right now.”