The San Luis Obispo Police Department (SLOPD) has denied the existence of criminal activity attributed to a “candy man” despite repeated online accounts of Cal Poly students’ encounters with him. The man reportedly frequents San Luis Obispo housing communities selling candy to gather information for later break-ins and robberies.
“He introduced himself with his organization which I believe helped provide funds for a certain group of youth,” industrial engineering senior Max Cortes said. “The most suspicious thing was when I asked him for an ID from his organization which was poorly made on a piece of paper.”
Cortes, who encountered the “candy man” on Monday, was far from the first student to encounter the individual. Cortes described the man as a African-American with an average build and a height of around 5-feet-10-inches tall, which corresponds with descriptions of other encounters with the individual posted online and given directly to Mustang News.
“We did contact a male selling candy, but have no information at this time that he is involved in any criminal activity,” SLOPD Lt. Brian Amoroso said in an email to Mustang News. “At the moment it looks like this is picking up momentum based on social media sharing and not directly attributed to any actual facts.”
Architecture senior Ryan Stone described his encounter with the “candy man” Jan. 28 to Mustang News. Stone stated that the man tried knocking on his and his roommates’ door in the afternoon and repeatedly tried to look into their kitchen window. The individual then moved on to another apartment building before returning to knock on the door later.
Stone also described the individual as an African-American male of average build and around 5 feet and 10 inches tall.
“His behavior was so strange but I had seen it before,” Stone said. “I did not call the police because they can’t do anything about it, but I wasn’t about to open the door to him.”
On the Class of 2018 Facebook page, other students living off-campus shared their experiences with the alleged robber, confirming the same description and corroborating similar stories. Mustang News cannot confirm these stories, however.
Despite these repeated claims, SLOPD has denied these claims are linked to the same individual or subsequent crimes after his appearances.
SLOPD Chief Deanna Cantrell backed up Amoroso’s statement in a tweet this morning.
“The information being circulated via social media that a candy salesman is casing neighborhoods and committing crimes is false,” Cantrell tweeted. “Officers did contact a male selling candy, however we have not taken any crime reports related to this individual.”