North Texas bathroom bandit steals parts, flushes away businesse - Dallas News |

North Texas bathroom bandit steals parts, flushes away businesses' money

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There's a bathroom bandit running around North Texas, targeting restaurants and stealing something that would seem unlikely to many.

In fact, several restaurant owners are taking some extreme measures inside their bathrooms to make sure the thief doesn't strike again.

Jordan and Jackie Johnson own a busy Taco Casa in Irving. They've handled the typical small business headaches, but weren't prepared for what a customer discovered on Sunday.

"They came to our front counter and said, ‘Hey, your toilets are missing a bunch of parts," said Jordan.

At first, the Johnsons didn't understand, but when they checked out the men's restroom, they were shocked.

"I couldn't believe somebody had gone in there and stolen this piece of plumbing that attaches our toilet to the wall," said Jackie.

The Johnsons found out they weren't alone.

"We made a phone call to a couple of other owners, and they said, ‘Yeah, it has happening to us," said Jackie.

Kevin Norman, the regional manager for Taco Casa, says it's happened at two other locations in Denton.

But the stolen parts aren't just cheap flushers -- they're automatic infrared devices, and whoever's stealing them is also taking the fixture that connects them to the wall.

The Johnsons think they've got the thief on camera, and have asked police to review the surveillance video.

Now, a number of stores are taking security measures they never imagined they would take -- buying locks for toilets. 

While the costs can add up, hopefully, the added security will help to keep from flushing more money down the drain.

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