About 900 rolls of toilet paper have been stolen from city hall restrooms in Tokushima over the past three years, with the trend showing no sign of coming to an end any time soon.
City hall cleaning staff began noticing that toilet rolls – which are left out on a nearby rack so that they can be easily replaced (or stolen, as the case may be) as necessary – were going missing back in 2010, and so started to keep track of their numbers.
Between 2010 and 2012, a total of 900 rolls were found to have been taken from the ladies’ rooms on the first and second floors of the public building, and a further 30 have been recorded as stolen so far this year alone.
In an effort to stop the rampant paper pinching, city officials put up signs in each of the restrooms, warning that while taking something as seemingly insignificant as a toilet roll may well seem like a harmless act, it is still considered theft and punishable by up to 10 years’ imprisonment or a fine of up to 500,000 yen. The notices also flatly warn that “if [you are] discovered, we will inform the police,” suggesting that staff are reaching the end of the roll themselves.
Those who ignore the warnings and pocket a roll may still flush when they get home, however, as each of the toilet rolls left in the restrooms is now routinely stamped across their cross-section with “property of Tokushima City”, making it clear where they came from.
For now, though, staff remain on high alert and will be keeping an eye open for would-be roll raiders.
Source: Yomiuri Online
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