Photo: TracieMichelle (iStock)

Some of the most disturbing crimes are those for which we can find no motive. They strain the limits of our comprehension, and that uncertainty—but, why?—makes us all the more uneasy. Such is the case with this story from California news station Fox 40 about a Oakdale, California father who was arrested for allegedly filling his kids’ Halloween candy with metal pieces last October and setting off a city-wide panic about tainted candy. The kids didn’t consume any of the candy, but still—for what possible reason did he do this?

Reports of the unsafe candy last Halloween obviously caused alarm among parents; after hearing of the tainted candy, parents began bringing their kids’ candy to the Oakdale Police Department for inspection. The police department put out a statement on Facebook warning about the hazard, which was shared hundreds of times. Some families threw away all their goodies, leading police to organize a trick-or-treating do-over three days later called Operation Happy Halloween 2.0.

The father has for months denied any involvement in the tampering, the Modesto Bee reports, but law enforcement used DNA analysis and other forensic methods to determine that he did in fact insert the metal pieces into fun-size Snickers and Milky Way bars, mini Mars and Almond Joy bars, and Reese’s Cups. Police announced charges of making a false report of food tampering, and could face up to a year in jail or prison if convicted. We’re guessing Oakdale families are pretty pissed, and confused.