(CBS) JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colo. - Toilet parts have been disappearing from restrooms across the Denver metro area and sold for scrap. But now, CBS Denver reports investigators say they know the identity of the man they've dubbed the "crapper scrapper" - and yup - he's a plumber..
48-year-old Donald Allen Citron is accused of stealing toilet parts from several locations, including the Southwest Plaza Mall, the University of Denver, and Craig Hospital. He faces 18 charges, including burglary and theft.
Authorities say the plumber was able to steal the toilet pipes and other parts in just a few minutes. All he needed was a wrench and a screw driver.
"He would carry a bag with him and would go in to public toilets, sometimes lock himself in, sometimes not, and he would very quickly remove all of the equipment from the toilets," said Jamie Greaser with the Jefferson County Sheriff's Department.
Deputies say Citron traded the stolen parts for cash at metal scrap yards. The items he's accused of stealing are valued at around $6,400, CBS Denver reports.
"What he takes and gets very little money for at these scrap yards is costing these business thousands of dollars to replace," Greaser said.
One employee realized what Citron was allegedly doing. "He watched the suspect walk in to the bathroom and leave with the parts from the toilet. And he walked outside and got a license plate number and it just went from there," said Greaser.
Investigators say there are 18 known cases of the toilet parts theft.
And investigators say based on the number of trips to scrap yards, they believe Citron has hit other businesses as well.