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‘Sunday Bandit’ pleads guilty to felony indecent exposure

Crime Watch

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REXBURG — A man dubbed the “Sunday Bandit” by his neighbors pleaded guilty Monday to felony indecent exposure as part of a plea agreement with prosecutors.

Cody Polatis, 26, admitted to exposing himself to three young girls on July 12 at the Warm Slough boat area in Madison County.

“I did willfully expose myself with the intent for somebody else to see it,” Polatis said during a video court appearance from the Madison County Jail.

The girls were catching frogs in the river when they said Polatis approached them with his genitals exposed. The children went to their mother and reported a man showed them his “private parts and no-no spots,” according to an affidavit of probable cause.

The concerned mother confronted Polatis, and he denied doing anything wrong, but she contacted the Madison County Sheriff’s Office with his license plate and pickup truck information. They tracked Polatis down, and he was arrested.

As part of the plea agreement, the Madison County prosecuting attorney recommended Judge Steven Boyce sentence Polatis to a rider. A rider program is where a judge sends a person to prison for up to a year to undergo different treatment programs. When the inmate has completed the program, the judge can decide to send them back to prison to complete their time or release them on probation.

Polatis will undergo a psychosexual evaluation and register as a sex offender. The plea agreement is non-binding, meaning Boyce has the freedom to issue a different sentence from what is recommended.

‘Sunday Bandit’ first began reporting on Polatis in 2016. Neighbors in his tightknit Salem community gave him the nickname of “Sunday Bandit” after he was caught several times breaking into homes while they were at church.

One neighbor set up a hidden camera in his daughter’s bedroom that caught Polatis masturbating and stealing the girl’s clothes. The neighbor believed Polatis had broken in at least seven times and stolen $1,300 worth of women’s clothing.


Polatis was charged with burglary, stalking and public display of offensive sexual material but, in a plea agreement with the Fremont County Prosecutor’s Office, the burglary charge was reduced to a misdemeanor unlawful entry charge, and the public display of sexual material charge was dropped.

Other incidents involving Polatis include:

  • 2014: A trespassing charge after Polatis was found in the Rexburg Kmart dressing room after hours with women’s clothing. He pleaded guilty and was ordered to undergo a psychosexual evaluation.
  • 2016: An unlawful entry and probation violation charge after a teenage girl, home sick from church, found Polatis in her Salem home. On a voluntary admission form, he wrote, “I went in and intended to masturbate and leave. I did not intend on taking anything.”
  • 2016: Polatis was arrested for indecent exposure after he admitted to masturbating and looking at pornography outside a Rexburg surgical center. Officers discovered women’s underwear in the vehicle, and workers said he had used their internet in the past.
  • 2018: A woman returned from church and discovered Polatis’ car parked outside her Salem home. Her daughter’s bed was disheveled, and Polatis told her “his animals had recently died, and he came to her house to see her animals.” He is charged with misdemeanor unlawful entry and violating probation. Polatis was sentenced to serve time in jail.
  • 2019: Polatis pleaded guilty to misdemeanor petty theft. He was ordered to serve up to a year in jail.

Polatis is scheduled to be sentenced on March 14 on the felony indecent exposure charge.