A Chinese couple from Ningbo was caught stealing the toilet seat from their hotel bathroom on October 18 in Nagoya, Japan.
Chen, the couple’s tour guide who exposed the story, said they swiped the toilet seat and hid it in their luggage. The couple denied the theft when questioned.
“I was quite ashamed about the entire incident. I tried to explain and defend my tour group when the hotel confronted me,” he wrote in the WeChat announcement.
The couple defended the theft, stating they believed the toilet seat “was left behind by a previous resident.” The tour agency confirmed the seat was eventually returned to hotel, and the couple made an apology on October 19 via Ningbo Tourism bureau.
Li, the husband, said he “accidentally found the lid under bed in the hotel room.” He said he regretted his behavior and hoped his apology would be accepted.
Chen said the hotel won’t continue to pursue the case. The tour agency asked netizens to stop hounding the couple after their apology.
“Even if the lid was left by a previous resident, it belongs to the hotel, not the couple. The couple’s behavior was a total infringement,” said Han Xiao, a lawyer from Beijing Kangda Law Firm. Any potential punishment would depend on Japanese law, he said.
Han said whether the theft was an “accident” or not would not affect a judgment.