Japanese police have arrested a man on suspicion of carrying out a series of toilet thefts in a case which left many baffled.
Ryusei Takada, 26, is suspected of stealing scores of toilets from houses in Funabashi City, Chiba Prefecture, while they were under construction.
Builders who were part-way through building a house in the Japanese city first noticed a toilet had vanished after they came back from a break.
It would become the first clue that enabled police to eventually close in on their suspect.
Ryusei Takada, 26, is suspected of stealing scores of toilets from houses in Funabashi City, Chiba Prefecutre, while they were under construction
Within days, another toilet had vanished from a different house that was under construction.
Investigators in Chiba Prefecture were left mystified after 18 items – most of which were toilets – were stolen from the construction sites. They dubbed the mystery as ‘The God of Toilets case’, according to
Their second clue came after a brand-new toilet was sold to a second-hand store in Funabashi City.
It led to police arresting Takada, an office worker who had been employed at a home construction company at the time of the thefts.
Officials reportedly believe that his knowledge of the construction worker’s work patterns allowed him to carry out the spate of thefts.
Takada reportedly admitted the thefts and said he stole the toilets and other household items to help pay for food and rent.
Takada reportedly admitted the thefts and said he stole the toilets and other household items to help pay for food and rent
He told Japanese
The case is not the only toilet-related misdemeanor that has mystified Japan in recent years.
A couple from China were forced to post back a toilet seat they stole from a Japanese hotel in 2016.
The couple from Taizhou, eastern China, travelled on a group trip to Japan and were staying in the Tokyo Inn hotel in Nagoya when they decided to take the multi-function toilet seat with them.
Upon realising the toilet seat had been taken, the hotel called the group’s tour guide and reported the theft to the police.
Not a good idea: The couple allegedly returned the toilet seat to the hotel the following day
The couple, named Li and Chen, claimed they took the toilet seat because they thought it was left by other guests who had stayed in the same room.
In nearby China, a gang of knife-wielding men jumped a delivery driver in Hong Kong and stole hundreds of toilet rolls in February last year.
The city became wracked by shortages caused by coronavirus panic-buying.
Toilet rolls became hot property in the densely packed business hub, despite government assurances that supplies remain unaffected by the virus outbreak.
Police said a truck driver was held up by three men outside a supermarket in Mong Kok, a working-class district with a history of ‘triad’ organised crime gangs.
‘A delivery man was threatened by three knife-wielding men who took toilet paper worth more than HK$1,000 (£90),’ a police spokesman said at the time.
A police source said the missing rolls were later recovered and two suspects were arrested on scene although it was not clear if they were directly involved in the armed robbery.