Theft Of The Week (5)

The somewhat bizarre tale of Peter De Yager, who owns the Foreign Candy Company in Hull in Iowa, shows how one crime can lead to another.

In July De Yager was caught stealing an election sign promoting the Biden-Harris presidential bid from a garden near Monarch Cove, although when it came to court in early September he elected to plead not guilty to charges of fifth-degree theft and trespass. On what must have been a slow news day the local newspaper, the Dickinson County News, decided to devote some space, admittedly just three lines, to reporting this alleged act of minor vandalism.

However, De Yager seems to have taken umbrage to this unanticipated publicity and went on a mini-crime spree, taking every copy of the Dickinson County News on display at several stores in the area without paying for them.     

He was recognised by some of the shopkeepers and, when confronted with his misdemeanour, after an initial denial, De Yager agreed to pay for the copies. One shop, a Jiffy petrol station, decided to take matters further by pressing charges.

As well as single-handedly boosting the sales of the newspaper, De Yager has succeeded in adding to his crime sheet. His attempts to suppress the news were doomed to failure as the County News has an online edition as well as an active subscription service. Instead of being the source of a local “tut”, his crime spree has gone global, even reaching me.

Crime never pays.

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