The culprit in an Iowa vandalism case reported to police this week turned out to be a squirrel with a taste for mountain bikes.
The Sioux City Journal reported Matt Strom, an associate professor of math at Iowa Lakes Community College in Estherville, was angry to find his bicycle damaged on Wednesday. Then, on Thursday, it happened again, leaving the bike with a destroyed seat, lights and tires.
Strom called police, who came to investigate, the Journal reported. But it wasn't until after the authorities left that the wily perpetrator, its tiny teeth gnawing on the bicycle's seat, showed itself to the professor's colleague. The squirrel migrated to a tire, where the witness snapped a photo of it chewing away.
The Journal reported Strom called the animal "the meanest squirrel you have ever seen."
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The city's animal control specialist and the professors told the newspaper, perhaps half jokingly, that catching the guilty squirrel might require a trap baited with a rubber ball — or another bike seat.
British authorities also turned their attention to squirrels in two separate cases of vandalism in 2010, the first of which involved a lead statue at an estate in Totnes, Devon, with deep cuts that resembled saw marks. Though it looked like someone had been trying to cut the statue apart, police and staff determined squirrels had been chewing away the statue over time, according to the Telegraph.
In the fall of 2010, reports of seven vehicles with brake lines cut and a number of homes with broken phone cables in Swindon sent police searching for vandals, only to discover a gang of squirrels was behind the mayhem.
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