BERLIN, Germany — A janitor in southern Germany has admitted stealing some 25 tons of office equipment over more than two decades.
After an anonymous tip-off, police in Stuttgart found a huge stash of stationery and cleaning supplies filling the 69-year-old caretaker's living room, attic, basement and garden shed, local newspaper the Stuttgarter Zeitung reported.
The hoard included toilet brushes, printer paper, hand towels, brooms, ladders, trash cans, and boxes upon boxes of pens, tape and pencil sharpeners (photos here).
Police filled three trucks with the stolen supplies, which are estimated to be worth up to €250,000 ($333,000).
Evidently, however, the thief was not interested in selling the stuff. He hasn't told the authorities his motive, a police spokesman told the Spiegel Online.
Nor do his former employers, the Stuttgart city authorities, understand how he was able to take such a vast quantity of supplies without anybody noticing.
He must have been careful to take only "small, discreet quantities" at a time, a council spokesman speculated.
It is unclear whether the janitor, who worked for the council for 25 years before retiring in 2007, will face charges, since the statute of limitations has expired on at least some of his thefts.
Meanwhile Stuttgart council is beginning the slow process of inventorying the stolen material. Much of it is as good as new and can still be used, according to Bild.