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May 8, 2021

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‘Bad apple culprit’ ID’d and contacted, but no arrest made

By , Columbian Breaking News Reporter
Published:

Investigators have identified and contacted the suspect they deemed the “bad apple culprit,” but say that there isn’t sufficient evidence for criminal charges.

Clark County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Sgt. Fred Neiman said he wouldn’t go into detail about the evidence collected, but said that there were no citations or arrests that resulted from the investigation.

Deputies were alerted to the culprit Aug. 24 after a northwest Hazel Dell resident came home and found a strange note on the door with the author claiming he was “apple-ing” residences by throwing apples onto roofs, according to the Clark County Sheriff’s Office.

Neiman said that deputies were uncertain if apples were actually thrown on the homeowners roof or not.

Furthermore, walking to someone’s front door is not trespassing, Neiman said. It’s also not clear cut whether throwing apples onto roofs is a crime, he said, adding that it would depend on the totality of the circumstance.

The agency said it has taken similar complaints over the years of homeowners finding apples tossed on their roof and landing in rain gutters.

In the past, the culprit has said in the notes that the fruit blitz is targeting supporters of Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., who is running for a fifth term this year, and President Barack Obama. The letters have been historically signed “Titania.” In previous years, similar letters circulated about Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore.

Last week’s incident, however, deputies collected surveillance footage of the “bad apple culprit” and the agency posted the information to its Facebook page. The incident was widely circulated on social media and drew national media attention.

Neiman said that he appreciated the community conversation that the incident sparked.

“He has engaged the community in an interesting discussion about what is and isn’t suspicious behavior,” Neiman said. “If it’s heightened the awareness of the public of what’s going on in the community and to be aware of suspicious behavior, that’s a good thing.”

Neiman said that if residents feel victimized or notice what they think is suspicious behavior, they should call 911 in emergency situations or 311 in non-emergency situations and law enforcement will follow up.

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