Are they taking the pee? Crooks are stealing PORTALOOS from unmanned building sites during lockdown spree
- Inspector Rob Offord said thefts carried out at random in Northamptonshire
- Thieves are striking at night in mainly unattended areas without any CCTV
- Inspector Offord has advised portaloo owners to secretly mark their property
Police are hunting a gang of crooks following a spate of bizarre portaloo thefts during lockdown.
Inspector Rob Offord said the thefts have been carried out across Northamptonshire at random, with charities and building sites among those targeted.
He told a council meeting the force had nothing to go on – apart from the suspects had been mainly striking at night in unattended places without any CCTV.
Officers have now advised portaloo owners, or those hiring the toilets, to secretly mark them so they can be identified if stolen and later found.
Inspector Rob Offord said the thefts have been carried out across Northamptonshire at random, with charities and building sites among those targeted. Pictured: Stock image
Inspector Offord told a Kettering Town Forum meeting: ‘It was found in Wellingborough back in August and months proceeding that there was a spate.
‘All I can ask is the owners or people hiring them ensure there is some unique identification on them.
‘First of all that is overtly on display but can also be covertly put in – whether that is smart water.
‘I’m not saying it is proper to microchip them, but they do it with caravans.
‘The main thing is, if we seize a portable loo that is great, but if we can’t identify its owner, just saying it’s blue with a white top – you won’t be able to reconcile that back with the original owner, you will have to give it back to the suspect.
Officers have now advised portaloo owners, or those hiring the toilets, to secretly mark them so they can be identified if stolen and later found. Pictured: Stock image
‘Having some kind of identification that is covertly inside it would be really helpful.’
Day service provider Teamwork Trust, based in Kettering, was one charity which had a £500 portable toilet stolen.
Tory councillor Lesley Thurland, of Kettering Borough Council, added: ‘This isn’t a joke, but it seems there has been a spate of portable toilet thefts.
‘I can’t believe your normal burglar on the off chance is going round and taking a loo.
‘But one of those involved was the Teamwork Trust who can ill afford to get things stolen especially as they need it because of Covid.’