A new crime has become too popular for comfort in parts of central Africa: penis theft. According to anthropologist Louisa Lombard, an increase in the popularity of stealing penises has made its way to central African villages:

A traveler passing through town on a Sudanese merchant truck had, with a simple handshake, removed two men's penises.

As best I could reconstruct from witness accounts, the stranger had stopped to purchase a cup of tea at the market. After handing over his money, he clasped the vendor's hand. The tea seller felt an electric tingling course through his body and immediately sensed that his penis had shrunk to a size smaller than that of a baby's.

Though the thief was later caught and executed, it doesn't exactly make you feel safe. It could happen to anyone. But why are penises being stolen? Anthropologists credit that to "an increasingly mystifying and capricious global economy" that's forced people to seek refuge in "occult economies." The black market for organs isn't a new phenomenon, but this is still the most horrifying crime wave of all-time.

[via Gawker]