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One Oregon neighborhood is struggling with doughnut vandals in a string of incidents where doughnuts, pastries, and even potato salad has been used to vandalize cars and homes.
The so-called "Bakery Bandits" have struck for the past six weeks in Hillsboro, Oregon, a suburb about 30 minutes west of Portland. Hillsboro Police Lt. Mike Rouches told The Oregonian that in his 25 years of service, he has "never investigated or seen a criminal mischief involving pastries."
Is that the way the cruller crumbles, or are the powdered-sugar perps facing criminal consequences?
Sweet, Sweet Criminal Mischief
Hillsboro police first learned of the sugary suspects when a woman complained about having her vehicle "hit" six times. The woman later reported two "maple bar"-style doughnuts were placed on the windshield wipers of her son's car. The Oregonian reports that these were grocery-store variety doughnuts (not the fancy variety from Portland's famous Voodoo Doughnuts); police believe they were likely locally purchased or (gasp) stolen.
Vandalism can come in many flavors (apparently even maple glazed), and the doughnut vandals in this Oregon town are still breaking the law. In Oregon, the law differentiates between graffiti-related crimes and other forms of property damage called "criminal mischief."
Criminal mischief in the third degree describes "tamper[ing] or interfer[ing]" with another's property with "intent to cause substantial inconvenience to the owner or other person." This offense can be punished by a maximum of 30 days in jail and a $1,250 fine, and it does not require that any calculable property damage be done.
Other Forms of Criminal Mischief
Teens are often the culprits in these sorts of strange criminal mischief cases, and this case is likely no exception. United Press International reports that the smoking gun for the suspects may be a "Twilight" book that was left at one of the crime scenes.
Hillsboro may not be unique in its capacity for weird vandalism. San Francisco experienced an odd glut of Smart Car-tipping incidents in April which had police stymied and owners frustrated. And while these Hillsboro mischief incidents are widespread, there may only be one or two persons responsible for the dastardly doughnut deed. As you may recall, it only took one Pennsylvania 11-year-old to urinate on $36,000 worth of laptops, so smearing bear claws on a few cars wouldn't be that difficult.
The Oregonian reports Lt. Rouches is confident that his colleagues can take a bite out of this doughnut-related crime and catch up with the "Bakery Bandits."