Prague Police have announced that a person cutting locks of hair from strangers has been caught, thanks to help from the public. The police took the case seriously, as incidents like this can escalate into more dangerous situations.
The 41-year-old suspect, who cannot be named under Czech privacy laws, has confessed. He faces up to two years for hooliganism if convicted.
“Testimony from citizens who encountered the men also helped significantly. Police officers detained the suspect on a bus in Budějovická street in Prague 4. They found both scissors and strands of hair in his pocket,” police spokeswoman Hana Křížová said in a press release.
He was detained and confessed to investigators that he had been cutting women’s hair on public transportation. “He stated that he was responsible for 25 of these deeds an has been cooperating with investigators. He gave them the cut hair strands that he had hidden at home. He did not give any rational reason for his actions,” Křížová said.
The police thanked everyone who contributed to the search and capture. Police on February 18 released video and still photos of a person seen running from a tram after a hair cutting incident and asked for help in locating him. They said at the time there were five known instances of a person cutting locks of hair form women on Prague trams., and asked for any more victims to come forward.
A criminal prosecution for the crime of hooliganism has been started. Investigations are being carried out and police officers also request expert opinions in the field of psychiatry.
Hair fetishism, including cutting strangers’ hair, is called trichophilia, and predominantly affects men. It was first discussed as a condition with sexual overtones by Moravian-born psychologist Sigmund Freud.
It can be an early warning sign of extreme and violent behavior. In the UK, convicted murderer Danilo Restivo, currently serving a life sentence, is suspected of cutting and collecting hair from strangers in both Italy in the UK. Italian police allegedly 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.