Complaining customer was thief all along
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.’’