crime

Naked Man Who Flashed Female Runners Caught Thanks to Gummy Candies

The man was apparently eating handfuls of Haribo candies in between bouts of exposing his own 'gummy worm' to strangers.

Jelisa Castrodale

Photo via Flickr user Judy Gallagher / Composite by MUNCHIES Staff

In the past two-plus months, more than a dozen women have reported being harassed by a naked man while they ran on a popular path in Durham City, England. The women—who ranged in age from their late teens to their early 40s—all told the police that they were surprised mid-stride by a man who was wearing nothing but a pair of running shoes.

According to the Sunderland Echo, this naked idiot was first reported in April and the police had tried and failed to catch him. The Durham City Police Department even used some of its female officers as bait; they put on some sweat-wicking clothing and ran on the same path, hoping to lure him out. (And, so help me, if there is any kind of gender pay gap in the Durham City Police Department, it better disappear after these women spent their days trying to attract the local perv and his exposed junk).

But despite the best efforts of the officers and the best descriptions of the victims, the man was still on the loose—at least until they found his snack of choice. He apparently hid on a railroad bridge that was no longer in service, eating handfuls of Haribo candies until he forced strangers to look at his own sad little gummy worm. The cops found an empty package of Haribo on the bridge, along with a receipt from the shop where they were purchased.

They took those pieces of litter to the shop, compared the timestamp on the receipt to the footage from the security cameras, and they were able to find their suspect. The officers went to his address and the 18-year-old confessed to exposing himself to the runners; he has since been admitted to an intervention program to “deal with his behavior.”

“This was quite an unusual case because the riverside in Durham is usually such a safe place and is visited by families all the time, which made us all the more determined to catch him,” Durham City Police Sergeant Kay Howarth told the Echo. “It must have been very alarming for these women to have a stranger jump out at them while they were simply out enjoying a run. We would like to thank all those who rang in to report this man and for all those local runners who helped with our investigation.”

Earlier this year, three thieves responsible for stealing a five-foot tall Virgin Mary statue from a Wisconsin Catholic church were also caught thanks to their choice in snack foods. The suspects dropped their corn dog wrappers at the scene of the crime, and officers from the Wausau Police Department were able to identify them by using the CCTV footage from the gas station across the street—the gas station that sold those same corn dogs.

If you can’t commit a misdemeanor without stopping for a snack break, then maybe a life of crime isn’t for you. Also, don’t expose yourself to strangers. It’s wrong and gross.