• 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
Croatia extradites ex-top spy to Germany

Croatia extradites ex-top spy to Germany

Croatia extradited a former Yugoslav spy chief, Zdravko Mustac, to Germany on Thursday to face charges for the 1983 murder of a dissident on German soil. READ () »

German court jails Somali pirate for 12 years
An officer of the Lower Saxon Criminal Investigation Department (CID) securing evidence on the hijacked ship Marida Marguerite. Photo: DPA

German court jails Somali pirate for 12 years

A German court has sentenced a Somali pirate chief to 12 years in jail for hijacking a ship off the Horn of Africa and tormenting its crew during an eight-month ordeal. READ () »

New app helps clients find prostitutes
Photo: DPA

New app helps clients find prostitutes

While the German government is considering tightening prostitution laws, Berlin entrepreneurs have developed a smartphone app to connect sex-workers with clients. READ () »

Highs of 22C forecast for Easter weekend
Photo: DPA

Highs of 22C forecast for Easter weekend

The days running up to Easter may be cool and wet, but the holiday weekend should be a bit warmer for most of Germany, according to forecasters. READ () »

Berlin man must call himself a mother
The fight over the transgender man's right to be his child's official father has been raging since last year. Photo: DPA

Berlin man must call himself a mother

A transgender person who became the first man in Germany to give birth in March 2013 must be registered as the child's mother, a court has ruled after his year-long court battle to be named a father. READ () »

Study: rape convictions fall sharply
Photo: DPA

Study: rape convictions fall sharply

The chance of being convicted of rape in Germany has more than halved in the past two decades to fewer than one in ten, a major study revealed on Thursday. READ () »

SPD: Restore 45-percent investment tax
The tax privilege for investment income is unfair, says the SPD. Photo: DPA

SPD: Restore 45-percent investment tax

The centre-left half of Germany's coalition government has called for the old top rate of a 45-percent tax on investments to be brought back - to match standard income tax and fight the squeeze on middle incomes. READ () »

Customs find smuggled cash in every third car
Sniffing out the money. Photo: DPA

Customs find smuggled cash in every third car

The number of Germans smuggling large amounts of cash across the Swiss border into Germany rose dramatically last year. Customs officers said on Thursday they made a find in almost every third car they checked. READ () »

Crystal meth use hits record level
Crystal meth seized in Bavaria. Photo: DPA

Crystal meth use hits record level

Consumption of crystal meth in Germany appears to have reached a record level, according to government figures published on Thursday. READ () »

Child's near death sparks row over refugee homes
Leonardo had to have a finger and toe amputated after staff refused to call an ambulance. Photo: DPA

Child's near death sparks row over refugee homes

A political row has broken out in Bavaria after an asylum seekers' home failed to help a toddler who almost died of meningitis. The case has raised concerns about the treatment of refugees in the state. READ () »

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
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: DPA
Gallery
Nine ways to celebrate Easter like a German
Photo: Galerie Bilderwelt
Gallery
World War I in colour photos
Photo: DPA
Society
'The mafia has infiltrated every sector in Germany'
Photo: DPA
Society
JobTalk: Why you should teach English in Germany
Photo: DPA
National
330,000 sign up against TV licence fee
Photo: DPA
Hamburg
School kids hospitalized after 'porno' party
Photo: Submitted
Frankfurt
'I'll get even with my old pal Schwarzenegger'
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The week in pictures: April 5th - April 11th
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
Advertisement:
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Munich's baby polar bears are finally named
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
Hult International Business School
Sponsored Article
What they don't teach you at Business School
Photo: DPA
Society
Nine jobs you can only do in Germany
Photo:ESL
Sponsored Article
How to integrate successfully 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

3,146
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd