Jerry Wayne Whitaker II, 32, of Mountain View, was caught on camera depositing chocolate Ding Dongs in every clothes dryer in the business, according to Salem Police Chief Albert Roork.
"At approximately 2:33 a.m. on Feb. 8, an individual went inside the Salem Laundromat and was seen placing a small box on top of a washer and then he proceeded to put something in three different clothes dryers," Roork said.
The not-so-clever courier was oblivious to the surveillance camera recording the entire event.
"He then left out of sight of the camera and returned momentarily to put something in each of the remaining dryers. The next morning, fortunately, a customer was there fairly early doing his laundry. He looked inside and saw a chocolate marshmallow Ding Dong inside the dryer," he said.
"He then called it to the attention of the laundromat owner, Debby Fallon. She looked and there was one of these in each one of the dryers, which prompted her to look at her surveillance camera footage. That entire complex up there has inside and outside cameras on all the time," Roork said.
"She saw the guy come in at 2:33 a.m. and put these things in the dryers. She called me up there, and I looked at the video. On the back of this guy's coat it said FedEx. We then contacted FedEx, and they sent a supervisor, and he looked at the surveillance tape and said it was in fact an employee that drove from Mountain Home at night to pick up packages in Jonesboro, then back to Mountain Home," he said.
"We were told who the guy was, his name and all, and from that I did an affidavit. The judge signed an order for a warrant charging the guy with disorderly conduct. Stone County has served that warrant for us; he lives in Mountain View," Roork said.
What would be a surprise to many people is just another absurd chocolate sweet act of malice to Chief Roork, who has been in law enforcement for nearly three decades.
"I have done this for over 28 years, nothing really surprises me. My thought was, that's a pretty good job to be so careless. Because I'm telling you, in this day and age with the current technology, you might not see the camera but that doesn't mean they're not there. I don't know why anybody, particularly an adult, would want to inconvenience people that they don't even know. If they had turned those dryers on it would have ruined whatever clothes had been put in there," Roork said.
"If it had damaged clothes we would have charged him with criminal mischief which would have been a much more serious charge than disorderly conduct. I?just don't understand that kind of behavior," he said.
"I wouldn't say I have seen it all because I haven't but it is pretty hard to surprise me. I guess he just wasn't as proud of his job as some of us are of ours," Roork said.
The News contacted Whitaker's manager Reggie Smith at the FedEx office in Jonesboro, but he declined to comment.