The store manager couldn't believe his eyes when he arrived at work before the store was
open. There were tracks in the new fallen snow and the door was unlocked. Leading from the
door to the parking lot, cereal was scattered everywhere. Cautiously he entered the store.
Everything seemed to be in order, with the exception of cereal crunched all over the floor.
He followed the trail of cereal to the breakfast food lane. There he saw that all the boxes
of cereal had been slashed through and through. Their contents spilled onto the floor and
crunched into mush. He then went into his office and called the police to tell them about
the vandalism. A patrol car arrived, took the report and left. The manager then preceded to
clean up the mess before store opening hours.
Nothing came of the investigation. The report was filed at police headquarters and
forgotten. After all, there were serious crimes going on in the city and as nobody was hurt
and no money gone, it just didn't seem like that serious a crime. Probably some kids out for
a lark. But the next morning, another grocery store reported the same crime. As it wasn't a
first and only prank, the police took it a little more seriously. Someone leaked it to the
press and it was written up on the last page of the next day's newspaper as a human interest
Then the situation grew more bizarre. More and more stores, both big and little operations,
were reporting boxes of cereal being slashed and ruined. The press became quite interested
in following the crime spree. Nothing else was destroyed in the stores. No money stolen,
nobody harmed. Cereal became difficult to buy in that particular city. People would go to
neighboring towns and stock up. This was difficult in winter months. Driving in the snow
was hazardous. Most people did not like to drive so far when storms were raging all around
When the chief of police couldn't buy his favorite cereal and his wife had to drive out of
the city to get it, the investigation picked up speed. Then it turned ugly. Houses were
broke into and the stocks of hoarded cereal were destroyed, much in the way of the stores.
This was becoming serious. Something had to be done. The story hit big time in the news and
spread around the nation. It had tweaked the interest of the entire country.
Then the police got a break. The vandal accidentally dropped his ID card at one of the
homes. The police drove to his apartment, but he had fled. They asked the neighbors about
him. None of his neighbors could believe that nice quiet guy would do such a deed. They
drove to his mother's home. Tears ran down her face. She
told them, she had suspected it might be her son doing this. When they asked her why she
suspected this she explained.
"My son has always hated cereal even as a baby. I was always afraid he would grow up to be a