Coronavirus: Hoarder tried to return 4,800 toilet rolls

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An Australian supermarket boss has told how a shopper attempted to return supplies worth thousands of dollars after stockpiling them at the start of the coronavirus outbreak.

John-Paul Drake, director at Drakes Supermarkets in Adelaide, south Australia, spoke on his YouTube channel about his anger towards the hoarder.

He said: ‘2020 – the year of toilet paper. The scenes that everyone has seen with the toilet paper have been absolutely ridiculous.

‘I had my first customer yesterday who said he wanted to get a refund on 150 packets of 32-pack toilet paper and 150 units of one-litre hand sanitiser.’

Mr Drake showed his middle finger to the camera and said, ‘I told him that.’

He added: ‘That is the type of person who is causing the problem in the whole country.’

Mr Drake told ABC Radio Adelaide: ‘In that conversation [the shopper said], ‘My eBay site has been shut down, so we couldn’t profiteer off that.”

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He described that kind of stockpiling as ‘absolutely disgraceful’, and said it was the reason that supermarkets had had to ‘band together’ to introduce purchasing limits on products like toilet paper and hand sanitiser.

Mr Drake added in his YouTube video that Drakes Supermarkets had sold eight months’ worth of toilet paper in four weeks, and a year’s supply of flour in nine days.

‘The rest of my team [is] over this sort of behaviour and having to police people taking more than they need — that’s a tough thing to deal with,’ he said.

‘I never thought I’d be in a situation that I’m seeing here.

‘We’re not used to it, no-one is used to it, when people take advantage of the system.

“It’s not necessarily being sold here or used here, or hoarded here — it’s being marked up [online] for a considerable amount.’

The news comes as demand in Australia – and across the world – has slowly started to ease for items such as rice, pasta, toilet paper and hand sanitiser, which were all stripped from shelves at the start of the crisis.

The number of coronavirus cases in Australia has now reached 6,445 and the number of people who have died is at 63.

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