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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