German police carry out 18-month surveillance operation to catch toilet paper thief
A department of Germany that track white collar criminals, organised gangs and terrorists, spent thousands on a probe after cleaners reported an "unusually high" usage of toilet paper.
The Landeskriminalamt installed a secret camera in the stairwell of House 5 in Waltersleben, Thuringian and a surveillance officer, who used to listen to covert telephone recordings of criminals, was assigned to overall command of "Operation Bog Roll," as it has been named, the Daily Mail reported.
Cleaners in the building had reported that rolls were getting stolen from their delivery bags when they were left unattended.
However, once the cameras were set up, and the bags containing the rolls were left unguarded, the police failed to catch anyone stealing the loot.
The public prosecutor's office in nearby Erfurt had been informed of the operation which ran for 18 months but was suspended in 2011.
It has only come to light now after an internal inquiry ruled that the "personal rights" of all the employees in the building had been violated.
Germany's main police trade union has now demanded an independent commission of enquiry about the operation and disciplinary proceedings against officers who sanctioned it.