Bad guys have a new weapon: Donut Trail Mugging (DTM). Obese people nationwide are falling for the con.
“Basically the mugger spots a likely fat victim, walks 20 yards in front of them, and stealthily drops a trail of donuts or donut holes,” says senior New York police officer, Bob Bontempo.
“The mark eagerly follows the trail and is busy gobbling down donuts, they don’t notice that it leads into a dark alley,” Bontempo said.
“Once in the alley, the victim is mugged.” Bontempo said went on to say that the victim usually finishes ALL the donuts in the area before reporting the robbery to police.
Although DTMs usually involve donuts, other treats have been used in other parts of the country: Twinkies are popular on the West Coast, marshallow Moonpies in the South.
Worried cops say at least 8,000 cases are being pursued nationwide – but the number is much higher because many of the donut muggings are going unreported.
“It’s embarrassing to admit you’ve been duped this way,” said Detective Charles Walton. “A lot of the victims don’t even want to press charges – they don’t want their families to find out they were breaking their diets, that they were lured in by a glazed donut.”
Victim rights experts say police agencies bear some of the responsibility for the rash of donut muggings.
I’ve had many DTM cases where the police asked a lot of snide questions,” said Claudia Amato, a Detroit counselor, “like ‘What were you doing scarfing down donuts when you say you were on your way to a Weight Watchers meeting?’ or ‘Did you ever think of just not picking up the donuts?’
“It’s a classic blame-the-victim-attitude,” Amato said.
One of her DTM cases, a 39-year-old salesman who busts the scales at 350 pounds, said his attack was the most frightening and humiliating experience of my life. To use a persona’s greatest weakness against him like that, well, it’s unconscionable.
“I admit I could have just ignored the donuts, but look – they were double-jelly Krispy Kremes, right out of the oven. I defy anyone to pass those up under any circumstances.”
“I must have picked up eight or 10 of them before I realized I was in a dark alley and suddenly there was a man demanding that I hand over my wallet. I wasn’t about to resist. He could’ve had a gun.
“Besides, after all that bending over to pick up the donuts, I just didn’t have the strength.”
The obese are being warned to call local authorities immediately if they notice suspicious donuts on the ground.
“That goes for things like cheeseburgers and French fries too,” says the New York cop. “Once the word gets out, these jerks are likely to change their tactics and we don’t want to have a whole new set of enticements to warn fat people about.