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Toilet Bandit Caught After Fast-Food Fixture Spree


By Naomi Millán Plumbing & Restrooms
Plumber repairing flushing toilet with wrench

A man in Queens, N.Y., went on a crime spree, stealing toilet flush fixtures from eight fast food and fast casual restaurants between Nov. 23 and Dec. 28, 2018. Richard Mirabile, 44, was arrested on third-degree burglary, third- and fourth-degree criminal mischief, petit larceny, and attempted petit larceny charges.

The "plumbing-skilled suspect," as he is described by the Queens district attorney, first burglarized a Wendy's on Nov. 23, entering the facility's restroom just before 1 p.m. and exiting minutes later with the plumbing fixtures from the men's toilet and urinal stuffed in a bag. He returned on Nov. 26 to steal their replacements, according to the district attorney.

The alleged thief repeated the pattern at a Burger King on Dec.7 and Dec. 28. On Dec. 10 and 11, he also hit an Arby's and a second Wendy's. Dec. 26 found him ripping off the flushing mechanisms in a second Arby's, as well as those from a Bean N Bean coffee shop in Flushing. The district attorney estimates the value of the flushing mechanism at $250 apiece.

Naomi Millán is senior editor, Building Operating Management. 

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