The toilets of Sheboygan, Wisconsin, are finally safe.
Sheboygan police arrested a 33-year-old man Monday on suspicion that he’s the vandal who spent the past two years clogging a public toilet more than two dozen times. Repairing clog after clog has drained thousands in taxpayer funds from the city, which is perched on Lake Michigan north of Milwaukee. Police have not named the suspect.
The Memorial Day arrest came following a tip from a citizen, police said.
The villain’s clogging tool was an unconventional one, according to police. He would take a 20-ounce soda bottle and jam it into a women’s toilet at the Deland Community Center in the city. Once he’d lodged a bottle deep in the pipes, the vandal would run-off — leaving behind a messy surprise for the city to clean up.
In March, the city got desperate enough that police issued a plea for help on Facebook.
“This is very strange … and gross, but that is the reality of life,” the city’s police department wrote at the time, begging for leads or tips.
Police said in March that surveillance cameras suggested a man was to blame. Commenters on Facebook said the city should have installed cameras years ago to catch the culprit and avoid paying to clean up after him.
As of March, the serial clogger had struck three times just this year, according to Joe Kerlin, the city’s parks and forestry superintendent. But the clogger had been even busier in past years, Kerlin told the Sheboygan Press — blocking the same public women’s toilet 14 times in 2017, and 12 the year before.
That substantial tally (29 cloggings — but who’s counting?) only includes incidents since the city began keeping track, Kerlin told the newspaper. And it wasn’t until halfway into 2016 it dawned on authorities that a serial clogger was on the loose. Kerlin estimated that the city has spent between $2,000 and $3,000 dealing with the clogger’s reign of terror.
“A lot of times we can just fish ’em out,” Kerlin told the newspaper, describing the best case scenario. Especially obstinate bottles mean plumbers have to remove the entire toilet.
The case has been passed off to the Sheboygan County District Attorney's Office for charges to be filed, WBAY reports.