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Chinatown toilet paper bandits arrested: Prosecutors

September 03, 2013|By Rachel Cromidas, @rachelcromidas | RedEye

Two men were arrested early Monday morning after they admitted to stealing dozens of rolls of toilet paper from a Chinatown market, county prosecutors said.

Michael Banks, 60, of the 2800 block of South Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, and Willie Johnson, 61, of the 1400 block of South Canal Street, robbed Chinatown Market, a shop at 2121 S. Archer Ave., prosecutors said, by using an alley trashcan as a stepping stool to help them climb into the market's storage unit.

Once inside the unit, one man allegedly began tossing rolls of toilet paper, in 6- and 12-packs, to the other from over a fence. The effort continued until just before 2 a.m. when police arrived in the alley, according to court records.

After being arrested Johnson allegedly admitted to police that he stole some of the toilet paper in the store's fenced-off unit. But, "I wasn't going to sell it," he said according to the police report. "I don't have a habit, I just need the money."

Johnson and Banks both appeared at the Cook County Criminal Courthouse Tuesday afternoon and were each ordered held on $90,000 bond.

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