Virus time crime: Hong Kong police bust toilet paper gang

FILE PHOTO: People wear masks as they walk past rolls of toilet paper at a market, following the outbreak of a new coronavirus, in Hong Kong, China February 8, 2020. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu /File Photo

HONG KONG (Reuters) – Knife-wielding robbers in Hong Kong stole 50 packs of toilet paper rolls from a supermarket delivery man, police said on Monday, in a sign of the times for a city worried sick by the coronavirus outbreak across the causeway in mainland China.

Police caught two of the gang of three and recovered all of the toilet paper, worth about HK$1,700 (nearly $220). They were still hunting for a third thief. No other details were given.

Panic in Hong Kong over the coronavirus has emptied supermarket shelves, with people stockpiling toilet paper, cleaning products and basic foodstuffs.

Reporting by Donny Kwok and Farah Master; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore

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