JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) - Valuable parts have been stolen from restrooms across the Denver metro area and then cashed in for money. Now investigators say they know who is responsible.
Donald Allen Citron, 48, faces 18 charges, including burglary and theft. He's accused of stealing toilet parts from several locations, including Southwest Plaza Mall, University of Denver, and Craig Hospital.
Most of the crimes happened in just a few minutes, but police Citron is a plumber and all he needed was a wrench and a screw driver to steal pipes and the plumbing in toilets. The items he's accused of stealing are valued at around $6,400.
Jefferson County deputies say Citron stole toilet plumbing, pipes and flush valves at several businesses and restaurants in return for cash from local metal scrap yards.
"What he takes and gets very little money for at these scrap yards is costing these business thousands of dollars to replace," Jamie Greaser with the Jefferson County Sheriff's Department said.
"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," Greaser said.
At one business a vigilant 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," Greaser said.
Investigators say there are 18 known cases of the toilet theft. They include the Southwest Plaza Mall in the family restroom area, a Littleton Chick-fil-A, a Denver Taco Bell, King Soopers, and even the Bowles Crossing movie theater.
Investigators say based on the number of trips to scrap yards, they believe Citron has hit other businesses as well.
"We believe we've only hit the tip of what he's done and we believe that there are several more that are not reported," Greaser said.
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