Toilet paper thieves raid Beijing tourist attraction, draw flak online

People in Beijing have been caught on camera raiding public toilets for the toilet paper. PHOTO: HANDOUT
Toilet paper is the main draw for some people at Beijing's popular Temple of Heaven. PHOTO: HANDOUT

The toilet paper at Beijing's Temple of Heaven must be simply divine because some people just cannot get enough of it, making multiple trips a day to the popular tourist attraction's toilets to secure the precious commodity.

Photographs in a report from the Beijing Evening News showing these people gleefully pulling off long strands of toilet paper have gone viral online.

According to the report, some of the offenders pay visits to each of the Temple of Heaven's seven toilets, stuffing their haul into shopping bags that they bring along.

One middle-aged woman was seen making three raids on the same toilet with the space of half an hour.

These toilets are proud recipients of a four-star rating from the Beijing Tourism Administration, perhaps enhancing their appeal for discerning toilet paper connoisseurs.

The report caused a stir online, with some netizens condemning the "shopping trips" as theft while others pointed out that many of the offenders were middle-aged or elderly.

A Weibo user wrote: "This is quite typical of how many of the old-generation think. In their eyes, what the country owns is what the people own."

Toilet paper thieves have plagued China's cities for some years. The Global Times reported in 2012 that only 3,000 of Beijing's 12,000 public toilets offered toilet paper because the cost of replenishing the supply was prohibitively expensive.

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