Gummy bears helped police crack the case of a naked runner

Illustration for article titled Gummy bears helped police crack the case of a naked runner
Photo: Patrick Stollarz, Chase Jarvis (Getty Images)

Ultimately, Haribo gummy bears were the naked runner’s Achilles heel. The naked runner was a man who’d been running nude—save for sneakers—around Durham, England, and targeting women runners. He jumped from his hiding spots and expose himself to dozens of women running alone near the Durham Rowing Club and the Maiden Castle sports arena, according to the Sunderland Echo. (As a woman who runs solo, this is my worst nightmare, for the record.)

Police couldn’t catch him. They tried sending female officers out as decoy runners (worst assignment ever?), but were unsuccessful.

Finally, a break in the case came in the form of a discarded Haribo gummy bear package and a receipt for the snack’s purchase. The empty wrapper was found on a bridge where police believe the naked runner hid and waited for runners to pass; authorities were able to comb surveillance footage from the store where the gummy bears had been purchased, and found an image of a man fitting the suspect’s description. (Presumably with clothes on.) They traced the suspect to an address and were able to apprehend the 18-year-old man.


According to the Sunderland Echo, the man was arrested and has since checked in to a four-month behavioral modification program. That’s all thanks to the gummy bears.

Kate Bernot is a freelance writer and a certified beer judge. She was previously managing editor at The Takeout.

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I thought it was going to be sugarfree gummy bears, leaving additional... ahem... evidence as they wrecked the poopetrator’s system.

I had to avoid a naked teenager on a bike trail once.  I could only imagine being a woman, alone, with that happening... it freaked me out enough as a dude cruising at 18 mph with metal clips on my stiff shoes.