Caught short

11th May 2007 at 01:00
Staff and pupils of a high school in Japan's Osaka prefecture can sleep safely in their beds now that a dastardly toilet paper thief has been apprehended and booted out of her job.

According to Japan's Mainichi Daily News, an unnamed staff member at the Osaka school has been dismissed for stealing loo paper worth 37 yen (15p) from her school. She was subsequently fined 100,000 yen (pound;418) after the principal reported her to the police.

Colleagues reportedly noticed toilet paper disappearing at a greater rate than usual since the woman took up employment with the school, so were watching her closely for evidence of the unlawful pilfering of toiletries.

They pounced after spotting a single loo roll in her bag. Nothing, it seems, escapes the sharp eyes of some of Japan's more zealous citizens.

The school might have avoided these thefts if it had installed one of the new high-tech electronic paperless toilets that are gaining popularity in Japan's schools, homes and offices.

The devices offer such marvels as seat warming, water directing and warm-air drying.

Sadly, they also involve the potentially lethal mix of electricity and water, and several owners have complained after the devices caught fire.

Perhaps Japanese schools are safer with toilet-paper thieves.

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