Canberra, 24 March 2020 (dpa/MIA) – Australian police on Tuesday said they were looking for two men following a series of “thefts and attempted thefts” targetting Sydney supermarkets and their toilet paper stock.
New South Wales (NSW) Police in a statement appealed for public assistance to identify two men involved in the thievery in Sydney’s south-western suburbs on Sunday morning.
“The pair appeared to be targeting toilet paper and stole multiple packs from the Granville and Auburn stores, however, left empty-handed from the stores in Bass Hill and Lidcombe,” police said.
One of the men allegedly threatened an employee with a knife at one of the stores, the statement said.
Police have released an image of the two men.
“The people of NSW will not tolerate criminal behaviour at any time let alone during this crisis,” state minister for police and emergency services David Elliott said.
There has been a shortage of some of essential items, such as toilet paper and certain food products, in many supermarkets across Australia due to panic-buying amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The shortage has led to fights and attacks, with government leaders and state authorities failing to placate consumers. Many stores have imposed purchase limits.
In Sydney, one convenience store has come up with a unique way to stop “greedy” toilet paper hoarders, with patrons allowed to buy a pack of rolls for 3.50 Australian dollars (2 US dollars), with a two-pack costing 99 dollars.
“Don’t be greedy. Think of the other people,” said a sign posted in front of the stock at the Redfern Convenience Store as shown in a Monday Instagram post by the shop.