The North Carolina police department recovered a stolen 18-wheeler that was used to transport toilet paper. Deputies of the Guilford County Sheriff's Office pursued the vehicle after it reportedly violated a motor vehicle law.
Investigators said they followed the vehicle to a warehouse/dock facility a short distance off of the interstate and encountered the driver. Deputies determined the 53-foot Hyundai dry-van trailer was reported stolen locally and was being utilized to transport nearly 18,000 pounds of commercial bathroom paper products.
Authorities have not made any arrests in the case but said that the driver is a suspect in the theft of the truck. The driver has not been identified because a large theft of toilet paper is a "fairly sensitive" topic right now, as people across the country have been hoarding toilet paper and hand sanitizer due to the global coronavirus pandemic.
As the coronavirus outbreak spreads in North Carolina and the United States, toilet paper has become the ultimate symbol of panic buying in grocery stores and supermarkets.
Georgia Pacific, the maker of Angel Soft and Quilted Northern toilet paper, said that last week, some orders from retailers nearly doubled. The company managed to ship out 20% more than its normal capacity.
And the American Forest & Paper Association, an industry group representing paper product makers, noted the industry is working hard to respond to the sudden spike in demand.