By Jonathan Sperling
A toilet thief’s alleged schemes went down the drain when he was indicted in Queens Criminal Court on Monday.
Richard Mirabile, of Congers, New York, was charged with third-degree burglary and other crimes for eight incidents where he allegedly rushed into fast-food restaurants and made a beeline for the bathroom to take care of business — the business of stealing toilet-flushing fixtures.
Mirabile, 44, allegedly hit some restaurants twice, Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown said in a statement. “The defendant will now face the legal consequences for these alleged acts.”
Mirabile began his latrine heists on Nov. 23, when, at approximately 12:53 p.m., he was caught on surveillance video entering a Wendy’s restaurant at 61-11 Fresh Pond Rd., in Ridgewood. Bag in hand, Mirabile went toward the restaurant’s bathroom off-camera and later exited. When the Wendy’s manager entered the bathroom, he realized something stunk: the automatic flushing fixtures on both the men’s toilet and the urinal were missing.
The crapper crook allegedly came back to the same Wendy’s location three days later for further urinal usurping.
The toilet fixture-taker struck again on Dec. 7, this time at a Burger King located at 33-10 Astoria Blvd., in Astoria. After no more than 10 minutes in the bathroom, Mirabile exited with a bag containing the flushing fixtures for the men’s toilet and the urinal. The defendant struck again at that location on Dec. 28.
Continuing his potty pilfering pattern, Mirabile hit several other fast food restaurants in December, including an Arby’s and Wendy’s on Metropolitan Avenue in Middle Village.
The final pit stop of Mirabile’s borough-wide bathroom tour took place at eateries in Flushing and another Arby’s in Fresh Meadows.
Each toilet flush fixture is valued at approximately $250, according to DA Brown.
Prosecutors also charged Mirabile with third- and fourth-degree criminal mischief, petit larceny and attempted petit larceny. Queens Criminal Court Judge Toni M. Cimino set bail at $25,000 and ordered Mirabile to returned to court on Jan. 9.