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Thieves targeting toilet hardware

BERKELEY, Calif., Feb. 9 (UPI) -- Police at a California university said thieves have stolen necessary flushing hardware from more than three dozen campus toilets.

The University of California, Berkeley, campus police chief, Mitch Celaya, said the burglars brought tools into buildings across the campus and pulled the brass hardware from the toilets, rendering them ineffective, the Oakland (Calif.) Tribune reported Monday.

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"We've put out a crime alert to make people aware of it," Capt. Margo Bennett said. "But because of the seclusion in the bathrooms, it's hard to expect eyewitnesses. So we're asking people to just be aware. If you see strangers in the building, give us a call. If you see people walking around with bags that look like they may be carrying tools or parts, give us a call. We're hoping to pick up some sightings of suspicious people in the area."

Bennett said each targeted toilet costs more than $250 to replace. She said the thieves are likely selling the brass for scrap metal.

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