The Clark County Sheriff's Office in south west Washington are searching for a man who has allegedly been throwing apples onto the roofs of unsuspecting residents and leaving some very odd notes in his wake. In a Facebook post, they said that law enforcement agencies across the Columbia River in the Portland, Oregon, area have received periodic reports over the last two years of so-called "apple-ing," in which the fruits are maliciously tossed onto people's homes. The "bad apple culprit," as deputies have dubbed him, struck again this week.
A homeowner in Hazel Dell, northwest of Vancouver, came home to find their roof blanketed with several apples.
On the door, the man had left a note.
"To The Good Citizens of Callisto,
I crossed the Rubicon River.
Today I did five houses. My backpack had fifteen apples in it, three apples per house. I pull up on my bike, take my backpack off, get the apples out, put the backpack back on, walk up a little closer and throw them high in the air over the house. The second and third apples are still in the air when the first one hits. Within seconds I am mounted up and gone.
Roofs are not created equally so the sound effects vary. It can be nothing, to a muted thump, to louder thumps to almost a crashing sound.
"I can remember one house. The owner must have had mason jars stacked up under the eaves; the apples came down on them like bowling bowls. I've broken a few windows but that happens rarely. If there are overhanging tree limbs or wires, I try to avoid hazards like that.
"Apple-ing" five houses takes about seven minutes. For a while I was doing eleven houses, that was down in the Richmond neighborhood. As it turns out eleven is too many as one night a police car showed up. The way he came was the way I went as he didn't see me and I was surprised to see I was being followed by a Portland Fire SUV with four bicycles attached to the back. Now I heard that Portland Police were stepping up bicycle patrols in the wake of nuisance crimes.
"I took a right and a left, another right and a left and dropped down to Ladd's Addition. So I started out at the Bagdad Theater and ended up in those nice gardens by the roundabout and there I lay down. I felt good being guarded by flowers.
It should be noted that the City of Portland might be the best place on earth for a hooligan riding a bicycle with a backpack filled with apples. There are bicyclists everywhere, even in the early morning hours. The neighborhoods are like corn fields, easy to get lost in."
The bandit's most recent escapade left investigators with some solid leads, namely a pair of images captured by the homeowner's surveillance camera. Anyone who recognises the culprit, or has information as to his whereabouts, is asked to contact police.