The people of Münnerstadt can finally sleep peacefully at night, knowing their paddling pools are at last safe.
For seven years, Lower Franconians have been terrorized by a mysterious man who would come in the night to their homes, not to rob or harm them, but to slash holes in their paddling pools, leaving them destroyed for good.
Over that time, a total of 47 inflatable pools lost their air to the unknown outlaw, who had come to be known as the “paddling pool slasher”.
But Bavarian police said on Wednesday that after an “extensive investigation”, they had finally caught their man – a 27-year-old from the area – and he admitted to his criminal streak.
Police said it had been hard to identify the “slasher” because he almost always fled the scene of his crimes without anyone detecting him, and thus they only had a few witness descriptions with which to work.
The culprit admitted that he had wrecked the inflatable pools “for fun” and that it was always a spontaneous act. During a search of his apartment, investigators also found a stash of air mattresses which he had apparently stolen from the crime scenes. Police said they “could not rule out” whether this indicated some kind of fetish.
But the young paddling-pool destroyer said he also could not remember all of the poor pools that he had mutilated, telling police he believed the total to be “around 20 to 30” – therefore not accounting for all 47.
Police said it could be possible that there may be copycats also on the loose.