It is truly a crime for our times. In Orlando, Florida, Angel Hernandezcinto, 31, has been arrested for allegedly stealing 66 rolls of toilet paper from a hotel — something that could constitute a bizarre new form of a crime of passion in the coronavirus pandemic. However, the rolls are valued at 99 cents each, meaning that this master crime amounted to around $65. Yet, it could be punished with up to five years in prison. Another Florida man is being held on $5000 bond for stealing a single roll of toilet paper.
Thefts of short supplies in the outbreak have become increasingly common and increasingly the focus of police who seem to be trying to deter such crimes with enhanced charges.
According to Fox 35 Orlando, a security guard for the Marriott Hotel in Orlando saw Hernandezcinto, who is reportedly part of the cleaning crew at the hotel, pushing a trash can and bag inside his van. When he looked inside, he saw the toilet paper.
Police say that Hernandezcinto said that it was for a poor woman that he knows. He was charged with theft from a public lodging establishment.
If anything, he was thinking small. In North Carolina, police have seized a stolen truck with 18,000 pounds of toilet paper.
Nevertheless, this is a felony in the third degree which is punishable with up to five years incarceration. What is curious is that the provision does not have a threshold amount to qualify for a felony charge:
Theft of any property belonging to a guest of an establishment licensed under this chapter, or of property belonging to such establishment, by an employee of the establishment or by an employee of a person, firm, or entity which has contracted to provide services to the establishment constitutes a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.