A man accused of stealing parts from toilets in the restrooms at Largo and Clearwater fast food restaurants and elsewhere in the area has been arrested, police said Thursday.
The suspect had been going into the restrooms during business hours and stealing chrome-plated brass plumbing fixtures, Largo Police Lt. Mike Loux wrote in an email.
The crimes were reported at a KFC, McDonald's, Dunkin Donuts and Dairy Queen, according to Largo Police.
Herman Luis Acosta, 43, of Clearwater, was arrested by the Largo Police Department on Oct. 12 on charges of petty theft (three counts), grand theft, violation of probation — retail theft, and license expired more than six months. He was released on a surety bond on Oct. 13, according to Pinellas County Sheriff's Office online records.
On Wednesday, Acosta was arrested again and charged with stealing toilet parts, this time by the Clearwater Police, according to a news release.
Clearwater Police detectives say two toilet pipes, along with the connecting valves, were removed from the toilet at the Clearwater Main Library. Acosta allegedly sold the pipes for scrap metal.
Charges stemming from a similar theft of toilet parts at the Dunedin Public Library have also been referred to the State Attorney's Office, authorities said.
The cost to replace the pipes is at least $1,500. Acosta was arrested on a charge of grand theft, according to the Clearwater Police Department.