Many people pay a lot of attention to their hairstyle, and don’t appreciate anyone interfering with it. But somebody has been clipping locks of hair from strangers on Prague trams.
Police are taking the case seriously and have now asked the public for help in nor only finding the unauthorized barber, but also finding more victims.
“Investigators from the first police district are working to clarify a case in which an unknown perpetrator cuts hair on women in trams. There are five such cases at the moment,” Police Captain Jan Daněk said.
Police believe that their could even be more victims, as some people might not have bothered to make a report. Unlike a stolen wallet, for example, there is nothing of value to recover.
Anyone who has encountered the hair fetishist is urged to contact the police, as they are seeking evidence and trying to build a case.
One victims traveled by tram on February 10 in the direction of Újezd in Prague 1 when she felt someone touch her hair from behind. “Then she found that she was missing a lock of hair and that it was cut off on the tram. In investigating the case, the investigators found that at the time of this act a man traveling in a tram was subsequently captured by cameras as he ran down the street,” Daněk said.
Investigators consider him to be a potential witness and would like to find out what he knows about the case. They have not specifically said he was a suspect. Anyone who recognizes the man in the released photo is asked to call the police hotline at 158.
The case is being investigated for suspicion of the crime of hooliganism. Depending on the circumstances and severity, hooligism can by punished by fines of up to 30,000 CZK and up to three years in jail.
Hair fetishism, including cutting strangers’ hair, is known as trichophilia. It predominantly affects men. Psychologist Sigmund Freud said that men cutting long female hair may represent a man’s fear of castration, but there is no evidence to back up this claim.
Convicted murderer Danilo Restivo, currently serving a life sentence in the UK, is suspected of cutting hair off strangers in both Italy in the UK. Italian police knew about him but did not take action in the hair cutting cases. His behavior escalated into violence and at least two murders, one in Italy and another in the UK.