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Man arrested as part of investigation into toilet paper theft

Police have arrested a man accused of stealing toilet paper from supermarkets in Sydney’s south west.

The 30-year-old was caught by investigators during a vehicle stop in Lidcombe Friday after, after “extensive inquiries” including an appeal to the community for information.

Police were seeking two men who they said attended supermarkets in Granville, Auburn, Bass Hill and Lidcombe, and accessed restricted storage areas last Sunday.

The pair targeted toilet paper and allegedly stole multiple packs from the Granville and Auburn stores but left empty-handed from the stores in Bass Hill and Lidcombe.

It was also reported that one of the men threatened an employee with a knife at the Auburn store.

The arrested man has been taken to Auburn Police Station for questioning an police are continuing their investigation.

Earlier, NSW Police and Emergency Services Minister David Elliott blasted the behaviour and urged anyone with information to come forward.

“I support any measures taken by police to protect our communities from this sort of disgraceful criminal activity,” he said in a statement.

“The people of NSW will not tolerate criminal behaviour at any time let alone during this crisis.

“People need to grow up and look out for our most vulnerable.”

Meanwhile, a Sydney convenience store has found a novel way of stopping “greedy” toilet paper hoarders.

Rather than resorting to strictly limiting how many packs customers can buy during the COVID-19 pandemic – a tactic used by Woolworths, Coles and Aldi – the Redfern Convenience Store has adopted a different approach.

The inner Sydney store is still allowing patrons to purchase a two-pack for $3.50 but a second pack brings the total price to a whopping $99.

“Don’t be greedy,” a sign posted in front of the coveted stock reads.

“Think of the other people.”

Owner Hazem Sedda toldAAPthe quirky policy had worked wonders after some customers ignored their initial plea to be more considerate.

Only one customer has tried to come to the counter with two packs since he put up the sign.

“It is working so good and lots of people are happy about it,” he said.

In a sign of the times, Mr Sedda shipped three packages of toilet paper to a Port Macquarie lady and her neighbour on Monday after they contacted him on social media.

The good Samaritan even refused to take payment for his trouble.

“There is a lot of people who are desperate,” Mr Sedda said.

“It’s not about making a sale or a profit at this time. We just want to help the people.”

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