UC Police Want Public to Watch for ‘Potty Pirates’

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday February 11, 2010 - 09:39:00 AM

UC Berkeley police are asking people to be on the lookout for “Potty Pirates”—thieves who are removing brass flushing hardware from toilets and urinals on the UC Berkeley campus.  

A campus crime alert said the plumbing theft has affected restroom facilities in 10 buildings.  

The alert referred to culprits as “somebody or a group of somebodies” and asked the public to be on the lookout for anything suspicious.  

More than three dozen fixtures have been stolen so far, UCPD reports, costing the university more than $9,000. Other brass fixtures, such as floor drains, have also gone missing.  

“The items are likely being stolen for their brass content,” according to the campus crime advisory. “Each of these metal thefts is considered a burglary, as entering the building with the tools needed to remove the hardware is entering with intent to commit a crime.”  

Calls to UCPD police Captain Margo Bennett for comment were not returned by press time.  

Anyone with any information on the matter to make an emergency 911 report or contact the UC Police Department Criminal Investigation Bureau at 642-0472 (8 a.m.-5 p.m.) or 642-6760 (all other times). Tipsters can remain anonymous by using the CalTip at police.berkeley.edu/caltip/index.html.