Michigan man busted selling toilet paper out of his car for $60 — but family says he was just trying to help

click to enlarge Michigan man busted selling toilet paper out of his car for $60 — but family says he was just trying to help
Mike Arcuragi

A sign propped up against a Ford Escape hatchback read, “Toilet tissue $60.00 a case, cash only.”

A 64-year-old Canton Township man is accused of selling the toilet paper in a Meijer parking lot along Ford Road in Canton Township on March 18. He’s expected to be charged with misdemeanor counts of soliciting, canvassing, and peddling during a May 5 arraignment, Hometownlife.com reports.

Mike Arcuragi spotted the man selling the toilet paper and couldn’t believe what he saw. Arcuragi posted a photo of the toilet paper profiteer on Facebook, and it was shared nearly 4,000 times.

“I was in awe, I was shocked, I was mad,” he tells Metro Times. “I feel that it is people like this that gives a bad name to all mankind.”

Arcuragi added, “I wish people that do go into the stores would buy what they need and not hoard. They are not thinking of the next person but only of themselves.”

But the man's family tells Metro Times that he wasn't hoarding supplies for profit. They say the man, who has since received threats from people accusing him of price-gauging, works for a cleaning company, which is where he got the stock — not from the Meijer. They also say that $60 is actually market rate for the large packages.

In a statement to Metro Times, they write:

Not aware of solicitation laws, my father-in-law went to the Meijer parking lot to sell toilet paper at retail price. As can be seen from pictures, he was selling a case that contained 80 Georgia Pacific toilet paper rolls that cost $63 after tax at Walmart, to provide just one example. He intended to make up for the well-known shortage of toilet paper throughout the state and country. He was not hoarding; the cases are stock from his business and he wanted to make them available to the public at fair market value. Those individuals and media outlets who have accused him of "price-gouging" should be ashamed, and we are disgusted with those who have threatened him. These threats have caused much anxiety and worry in our family. His actions were a fair response to people's needs.

Officials have been cracking down on price-gauging. On Monday, Michigan Attorney General Dan Nessel announced her office received more than 2,00 complaints.

“Legal recourse is not the preferred option, but my office will take any necessary steps to determine whether reports of price-gouging are valid,” Nessel said in a statement. “Businesses must play by the rules and if a company is breaking the law, we will hold it accountable. Michigan consumers looking to buy products they need or to protect their health during this pandemic will not be subjected to excessively high prices.” 

Stay on top of Detroit news and views. Sign up for our weekly issue newsletter delivered each Wednesday.