One Oregon police department recently urged people not to dial 911 for toilet paper shortages — but a second one received a report about a real toilet paper emergency this weekend.
Eugene police said a resident filed an online report saying that overnight Saturday, a thief had smashed the rear window of their SUV and stole valuables — including two 30-roll packs of toilet paper. The thief also took some business and personal items, according to Eugene police.
Eugene Police Spokeswoman Melinda McLaughlin said it’s unclear if the thief broke the windows specifically to steal the toilet paper.
“There were other valuable items in there too, which they took,” she said. “But I don’t know how often toilet paper gets stolen — and this was a significant amount.”
Amid fears about the coronavirus spreading and in anticipation of quarantine, thousands of people are panic-shopping and hoarding many common supplies like hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes, bottled water and of course, toilet paper.
Eugene isn’t the only place in the world where people have resorted to crime to get their hands on some toilet paper. According to a Hong Kong newspaper, two armed robbers stole 600 rolls of toilet paper last month amid coronavirus-buying panic. McLaughlin said so far, this is the only coronavirus-related crime Eugene police have seen.
She said officers felt it was a good time to remind people about simple tips to prevent thefts from vehicles — such as not leaving items of value where they’re visible to thieves.
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