Patrick Costanzo may have stolen $25,000 in detergent from West St. Paul laundromat

Costanzo has a very strange habit -- and it isn't wearing crooked glasses.
Costanzo has a very strange habit -- and it isn't wearing crooked glasses.

Patrick Paul Costanzo's kleptomania manifested itself in one of the most bizarre ways imaginable -- he stole loads and loads of Tide laundry detergent from the same West St. Paul laundromat.

Police estimate that Costanzo, 53, may have stolen up to an astounding $25,000 in detergent over the past 15 months. What in the name of Tide could he possibly do with all that soap?

His soap-swiping finally came to an end last week after an internal audit conducted by the laundromat revealed that the store was short over $6,000 in detergent supplies already this year. That prompted employees to review security tape in hopes of explaining the shortfall.

According to Fox 9, security tapes showed the same man taking detergent and other items from the store four or five days a week. That prompted employees to perform a more thorough audit, which revealed that going back to the beginning of 2011 about $25,000 in detergent disappeared from the laundromat. While thus far only about $6,300 of that shortfall has been directly linked to Costanzo's bizarre kleptomania, it's probably safe to assume he didn't begin his detergent-thievery with a New Year's resolution at the end of 2011.

A sting operation caught Costanzo in the act last week as he tried to wheel yet another cart of items out of the store without paying for them.

Costanzo is probably done stealing for a while, but perhaps his favorite detergent brand will contact him about advertizing opportunities. After all, there's got to be some reason he was stocking up on Tide rather than Downy or Wisk, right?

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