By Courtney Sherwood
PORTLAND Ore. (Reuters) - Police in a Portland suburb have a sticky situation on their hands: for more than a month, mysterious vandals have been smearing pastries on cars, depositing donuts in lawns and leaving cakes strewn about the streets.
According to Hillsboro police, the baked-goods bandits first struck on June 1, smearing a maple bar across a car windshield.
In the weeks since, the pastry perpetrators have occasionally turned to healthier fare, leaving yogurt, bread and potato salad on vehicles and in driveways, although most of the incidents have involved sweets, said police spokesman Lieutenant Mike Rouches.
Amateur sleuths within the neighborhood collected frosting and sprinkles, and traced pastries back to at least two supermarkets in the area.
“We think the suspects probably went to a Dumpster where a grocery store had thrown out day-old pastries,” Rouches said.
Although only two residents of the suburban northeast Hillsboro neighborhood have complained to police, baked goods seem to have been scattered across multiple vehicles and yards. No permanent damage has been caused, and no individual seems to have been specifically targeted, Rouches said.
Police see the maple bars and chocolate donuts as an inconvenience, rather than a threat, but Rouches said that a crime has occurred – criminal mischief, a misdemeanor. Patrol cars are making more visits to the neighborhood, especially at night, although so far police have opted not to request surveillance video from local supermarkets.
“We believe the suspects are kids in the neighborhood,” Rouches said, adding that police don’t necessarily need to arrest the perpetrators and could settle for an apology, but would like the late-night capers to stop.
(Reporting by Courtney Sherwood; Editing by Cynthia Johnston and Eric Beech)