MARSHALLTOWN, Iowa - Police blame a woman named Butts for stealing toilet paper from a central Iowa courthouse, and while they're chuckling, the theft charge could put her in prison.
"She's facing potentially three years of incarceration for three rolls of toilet paper," Chief Lon Walker said, stifling a laugh as he talked to KCCI-TV about Suzanne Marie Butts. "See, I can't say it with a straight face."
Workers had noticed the rolls disappearing from the Marshall County Courthouse much faster than usual, Walker said.
Butts, 38, was caught last week after an employee saw her taking three rolls of two-ply tissue from a storage closet, Walker said.
Butts insisted it was the first time she'd pilfered toilet paper, but she declined to answer further questions on her attorney's advice.
The fifth-degree theft charge, a misdemeanor, normally carries a sentence of less than a year in jail. But Butts could face more time if convicted under the state's habitual offender law because she has prior theft convictions.
Walker did not know why Butts was at the courthouse, but said that she did not work there.