Com­plain­ing cus­tomer was thief all along

Matamata Chronicle - - News - By NI­COLA STEWART ni­cola.stewart@wrcn.co.nz

A thief has been tres­passed from Gull Mata­mata af­ter an em­ployee closed the lid on his toi­let pa­per ca­pers.

The man was al­legedly steal­ing jumbo-sized rolls from two bath­room stalls at the sta­tion, telling staff they needed to be re­placed, and then steal­ing them again. His plot was foiled when another cus­tomer com­plained about miss­ing toi­let pa­per within min­utes of them be­ing re­placed.

Se­cu­rity cam­era footage showed the man walk­ing out of the toi­lets, which are lo­cated around the side of the build­ing, with a not-so-sub­tle bump un­der his shirt and a roll in hand.

Mata­mata po­lice have iden­ti­fied a 29-year-old lo­cal man as the cul­prit and tres­passed him from the store.

Owner David Scholtz said he had been con­fused at why his costs for toi­let pa­per had shot up in the last few months. ‘‘It’s a new one for me,’’ he said. ‘‘We don’t ex­pect peo­ple to steal our bloody toi­let pa­per.’’

He can’t be sure ex­actly how many of the toi­let rolls, worth $12 each, the man got away with but said he would show up at the store on al­most a daily ba­sis.

‘‘It’s re­ally hard to go back on the cam­eras but we ex­pect he has been do­ing it for two to three months,’’ he said.

It wasn’t the first bizarre theft at the sta­tion ei­ther. Ear­lier this year a Gis­borne woman made off with a plas­tic rub­bish bin filled with rub­bish.

It was frus­trat­ing for Mr Scholtz, who spends time and money mak­ing sure the bath­room is pre­sentable for cus­tomers.

‘‘At the end of the day, it’s some­thing that’s a free ser­vice,’’ he said. ‘‘We have all th­ese peo­ple stop­ping and com­ing through to visit and when there’s no toi­let pa­per in there it’s quite em­bar­rass­ing.’’

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