• Germany edition
 
Cops spied on each other to nab loo roll thief
Photo: DPA

Cops spied on each other to nab loo roll thief

Published: 18 Jan 2013 11:54 GMT+01:00
Updated: 18 Jan 2013 11:54 GMT+01:00

German criminal police who used hidden cameras for 18 months to try to find a toilet paper thief in their own office were probably breaking the law, it has emerged.

Reports have been filtering through into public over the last few weeks about internal investigations in Thuringia's state criminal police (LKA) into the mysterious disappearance of the loo roll.

Now, Der Spiegel reported on Friday, LKA president Werner Jakstat has ordered an internal investigation into the investigation.

Specialists were tasked to install a hidden camera in the stairwell near the toilets of the LKA building in Ilmkreis near Erfurt - the kind of cameras normally used to watch suspected terrorists, gang members or drug dealers.

An intelligence officer was even assigned to analyse the footage captured on the loo roll camera.

This continued for one-and-a-half years, finally being wound down in May 2011, the magazine said. Not only that, the state prosecutor in Erfurt knew about it, the magazine said.

Broadcaster MDR reported it had now seen confidential documents from the LKA's own lawyers suggesting the secret surveillance was not legitimate.

The theft of toilet paper would not justify any sort of secret surveillance, the lawyers said. Operation toilet roll was also likely an abuse of the system.

Even if there had been a legitimate reason for the efforts, they would have required approval from a judge within three days - and this plainly was not the case.

There is even disagreement about where the cameras were installed - although the LKA told MDR Thüringen the operation was restricted to the ground floor of the stairwell, the documents of the internal lawyers talk of the toilet areas also being watched.

The two police trade unions have since sent a collection of demands to Thuringian state Interior Minster Jörg Geibert. They are calling for an independent commission to check the legality of the operation.

The Local/hc

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

12:02 January 18, 2013 by iseedaftpeople
hm... reminds me of that old joke headline...

"Toilet bowls stolen from police station - Cops have nothing to go on"
12:07 January 18, 2013 by BobbyBaxter
The Keystone Cops....
13:15 January 18, 2013 by pepsionice
If no judge approved it....there's going to be a problem. Even if the judge did approve it....he'll be laughed at for years to come.
13:18 January 18, 2013 by jg.
If they have the manpower and other resources to do this, they clearly have more manpower and resources than needed and could take a cut in their budget.
16:34 January 18, 2013 by raandy
I wonder how many rolls you could buy for all the man hours and equipment that were used in solving this serious crime, thats correct Bobby "Keystone Cops"
17:12 January 18, 2013 by catjones
A recent TED video on DIY biotech, someone decided to investigate which dog was poopin on the sidewalk. They threw tennis balls to the local dogs (to collect saliva samples) and samples of the poop to use DNA to find the culprit. Can you guess the nationality?
04:16 January 19, 2013 by US-TommyBoy
The cops were so busy trying to catch the "Bathroom Bandit" they did not have enough time to the "Tunneling Tricksters" who broke the bank.

By the way, the reference to the Keystone Cops is demeaning and hurtful.....to the Keystone Cops.
00:35 January 20, 2013 by ErnestPayne
Presumably the detectives that solved the case are flush with success.
15:12 January 20, 2013 by Vargaz
That explains the new background music playing at the police station, the choral masterpiece "Stranded" and it sounds like this: "Stranded, stranded on the toilet bowl, what do you do when your stranded and you don't have a roll? You must prove your a man and wipe it with your hand...stra-a-a-a-nded on the toilet bowl". No wonder the police station is a ghost town. Its on Fraustrasse.
00:48 February 27, 2013 by Paul Felix Schott
Only the sick in the head would put a camera there. What they say it was there for is a lie. One of them is most likely a gay and a pervert. The People in that city need to keep a close eye on the ones that put them in there. I am sure they are full of SH.. as is their story. How many Mans and woman's bathroom in that city have they done this too. The people in that town need to have the Judge get a warrant to search all the homes of anyone that had anything to do with this.

"probably breaking the law" i am telling all they are and many of them in America have been fired and some went to jail.

The Lord's Little Helper

Paul Felix Schott
Today's headlines
Minister's jet grounded twice in a month
Foreign Minister Steinmeier reboards his plane after the delay. Photo: DPA

Minister's jet grounded twice in a month

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier had to wait for two hours on a runway on Wednesday night due to a technical glitch on his plane - the second problem the jet has had in a month. READ () »

German of the Week
'It's important people are confronted with cancer'
Photo: Marina Proksch-Park

'It's important people are confronted with cancer'

Images of children with cancer often evoke weakness and defeat. But Marina Proksch-Park shows them enjoying life. The photographer who has sparked an online campaign with her pictures is The Local's German of the Week. READ () »

CDU candidate forced to remove Turkish logo
Yasar Calik. Photo: Facebook/Yasar Calik

CDU candidate forced to remove Turkish logo

A Christian Democrat (CDU) town council candidate has apologized and withdrawn campaign bags on which he had printed a new party logo where the Turkish crescent appeared inside the "C" for Christian. READ () »

Cheap flights get pricier as airlines expand
Lufthansa's daughter company Germanwings is one of the faster-growing budget airlines in Germany. Photo: DPA

Cheap flights get pricier as airlines expand

Budget airlines are expanding their range of routes from Germany but ticket prices are climbing along with them, a report from the German Aeronautics Centre (DLR) revealed on Thursday. READ () »

Ecclestone lawyers: Bribes never happened
Bernie Ecclestone with his lawyers in a Munich court on Thursday morning. Photo: DPA

Ecclestone lawyers: Bribes never happened

UPDATE: Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone went on trial in Germany on Thursday, denying charges of bribery that threaten to land the British billionaire in jail. READ () »

Minister praises Erasmus 'success story'
Photo: DPA

Minister praises Erasmus 'success story'

A revamped version of European student exchange programme Erasmus officially launched in Berlin on Thursday with Germany's education minister praising the scheme as a Europe-wide “success story”. READ () »

Turkey tourists lose call to prayer refund bid
Photo: DPA

Turkey tourists lose call to prayer refund bid

A German couple has lost their legal fight to get a refund for a Turkish holiday which they said was ruined by the calls to prayer from a nearby mosque. It is just one of a series of court claims by picky German tourists. READ () »

Germany halts arms sales to Russia
Russian troops surround a Ukrainian base in Crimea. Photo: DPA

Germany halts arms sales to Russia

Germany has stopped selling arms to Russia due to the current “political situation”, according to reports on Thursday. The sale of military equipment to Russia by German firms has been criticized by the country’s Nato allies. READ () »

Truck kills man lying in middle of road
Photo: DPA

Truck kills man lying in middle of road

Police were searching for witnesses on Wednesday morning following a mysterious road accident in which a 25-year-old man was killed as he lay in the middle of the road. READ () »

Where are Germany's smartest towns?
Germany's cleverest town. Photo: DPA

Where are Germany's smartest towns?

A brain training website released scores on Wednesday showing which German towns performed best and worst in a range of cognitive tests - with some surprising results. READ () »

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Photo: DPA
National
Germany sold €40 million of arms to Russia
Photo: DPA
National
Girls find live ammunition in Easter bonfire
Photo: Facebook/screenshot
Berlin
Germany's most viral advert for an apartment?
Gallery
11 things you need to know about German beer
Photo: DPA
Politics
Interview with AfD - 'If Britain goes, Europe is lost'
Photo: DPA
National
Police damage own water cannon with eggs
Photo: DPA
National
Let us start work later after World Cup nights, unions says
Photo: DPA
Society
Crystal meth use hits record level
Photo: DPA
Rhineland
Elderly man taped €200,000 to his genitals
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
What's the unemployment rate in your area of Germany?
Photo: Galerie Bilderwelt
Gallery
World War I in colour photos
Photo: DPA
Society
JobTalk: Why you should teach English in Germany
Advertisement:
Photo: DPA
National
330,000 sign up against TV licence fee
Photo: Submitted
Frankfurt
'I'll get even with my old pal Schwarzenegger'
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Ten great inventions you (probably) didn't know were German
Photo: J. Arthur White
Berlin
Clashes in Berlin as refugees tear down their own camp
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The 10 best German employers to work for
CurrencyFair
Sponsored Article
Why it pays to avoid banks when making overseas transfers
Mr. Lodge
Sponsored Article
How to find a furnished rental in Munich
Sponsored Article
How to make a lasting impression in business
Photo: DPA
Society
Nine jobs you can only do in Germany
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
Photo: DPA
Features
The Local List Archive - Your guide to all things German
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,077
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd