In 2010, cleaning women at a branch of the state criminal police (LKA) in Thuringia reported that rolls of toilet paper had been disappearing over a period of months, state broadcaster MDR said on Thursday.
Determined to track down the perpetrator, Waltersleben LKA President Werner Jakstat gave the green light for an investigation into the restroom robberies shortly after the alarm was raised.
When initial efforts to catch the thief failed, a hidden camera was installed in a hallway near the toilets, a move approved by public prosecutors in Erfurt.
To install the camera, investigators turned to surveillance experts normally tasked with keeping tabs on the mafia, biker gangs and religious extremists, a police spokeswoman confirmed on Thursday.
Despite the high-tech trap, the camera turned up no leads. So in early April, the LKA applied to install another hidden camera in the hallway to the bathroom doorway – but prosecutors denied the request.
That case was closed on May 5, but another had already been opened three days before, when more toilet paper was reported missing – though the second investigation went ahead without hidden camera surveillance until February 2012.