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Camera Trap Snares West Des Moines Man Allegedly Leaving Bizarre Trinkets for Neighbor

“Gifts” included bags of raw meat, small dolls and petroleum jelly.

A West Des Moines man who for five years has allegedly been leaving raw meat, dolls and other trinkets on a neighbor’s property has been caught on film and now faces harassment charges, according to police.

The victim, a 45-year-old woman, first reported to police in 2007 that someone was depositing odd items — a plastic bag containing raw meat, a Christmas ornament and small dolls, for example — on her property in a West Des Moines townhouse development, according to a report filed by Officer Ed Harvey.

According to the report, the woman thought the first “gifting” was a random act.

However, the practice continued and the victim has contacted police six times over the past five years to report similar occurrences, Harvey noted. Last fall, police installed a trail camera, commonly used to track deer and other wildlife, in hopes of catching the suspect in the act.

Last week, the woman reported to police she had watched via the camera as the suspect left items on a fire hydrant, including food, Vaseline petroleum jelly, paper clips, a tape measure, a plastic container full of what appears to be motor oil and two caulking tubes.

According to Harvey’s report, the woman also received several hand-written notes in the mail with clippings of articles referring to obsessive compulsive disorder.

The victim thinks the suspect keeps a specific schedule for his “giftings,” as the camera trap shows him depositing them on her property for the past several weeks at approximately 6:15 a.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, according to the report.

The investigation is continuing.

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Belletsky April 11, 2012 at 12:20 AM
Creepy....like Obama. Must be the dumbo ears
ellenthered April 11, 2012 at 01:01 AM
Sad, so sad, that you must inject political venom into a story that has nothing to do with politics ...
Jc April 11, 2012 at 06:10 AM
It is kind of scary and creepy...but it just goes to show there are many mentally unbalanced people out there...take safe guards to protect yourself in case this escalates and this person thinks you have turned against them and then it crosses the line - to something criminal or puts your safety at issue. Good luck to you.
kevin April 11, 2012 at 06:59 AM
Ding, Ding, we have a winner! The first member of the "anti-Obama" chorus to bring the president into a totally unrelated subject. Well played sir or madam, your hate knows no bounds!
Karl T July 03, 2012 at 08:01 PM
I'd wager he needs counseling more than he needs arrested.

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