This is a TNB Public Service Announcement. Don’t Steal Dinosaurs.
We at TNB were not aware this message needed to be provided. We were wrong. But stealing dinosaurs is wrong, even if you just want them to go visit the Jurassic Park commemorative statue of Sexy Jeff Goldblum. (TNB)
First, from May 30, Thiensville, Wisconsin had a purple dinosaur go missing. The community was having a fundraiser for their new park and decided to put out all of their retired-but-still-functional playground toys. From Fox 6:
On Sunday, May 20, surveillance video showed a couple arriving to dump off wood — and leaving with Tina the Triceratops.
“I’ve never had playground equipment get stolen before as long as I’ve been doing law enforcement,” said Thiensville investigator Glenn Janzer.
The couple was easily tracked via their license plate, and when authorities arrived at the home they found Tina the Triceratops situated in their backyard. The couple claimed to have thought it was being discarded, as the storage area was outside and near the recycling bins. The toy was reclaimed without charges or incident.
Perhaps the lack of charges inspired the theft, roughly a week later, of a five foot dinosaur from Nick’s Mini Golf in Ocean City, Maryland. Or perhaps it was merely alcohol. Two men broke into the dinosaur-themed golf course and moved many of the props, leaving them in questionable positions. After the damage was assessed, however, it was discovered that one of the dinosaurs was missing. This immediately prompted police to begin their dinosaur hunt.
The hunt ended one day later, when the dinosaur was discovered sitting in a lifeguard’s chair on a local beach. There are no reports of the dinosaur actually saving any swimmers. (CBS13 Baltimore)
Some people aren’t satisfied to take a small dinosaur, however. After all, the allure of a dinosaur is, in part, its size. If you’re going to steal one, go big… even if you accidentally decapitate it in the process.
Such was the fate of the Sinclair Oil dinosaur in Missoula, Montana. From The Missoulan:
As first reported last week, Dino, the 12-foot dinosaur and enduring icon of Sinclair Oil, went missing from his post at Crossroads Travel Center located at the intersection of Interstate 90 and Highway 93 North.
Most of Dino was found very late last week in a wooded area west of Missoula, lonely, lost and confused. His head was returned separately to Crossroads Travel Center over the weekend. The circumstances of Dino’s disappearance and return are now under investigation by the Missoula County Sheriff’s Department.
The loss of one’s head is normally fatal. Not so for Dino:
“Fiberglassic” medical personnel are optimistic that the iconic dino can be repaired to be better, stronger and faster than before, Nooney said. Like “Jurassic Park,” one official was overheard saying, “It will take more than a missing head to force the big green dinosaur into extinction.”
But even if a dinosaur does lose its head, a comic book fan may step up and do the right thing. Case in point: Nicolas Cage, who outbid Leonardo DiCaprio to buy a Tyrannosaurus skull from a prestigious Beverly Hills gallery in 2007. He paid just over $250,000 for the skull… only to be informed by the Department of Homeland Security in 2014 that it had possibly been stolen and smuggled out of Mongolia. After an investigation, the suspicions were borne out as accurate.
From The Guardian:
The actor is not accused of wrongdoing, and authorities said he voluntarily agreed to turn over the skull after learning of the circumstances.
Cage was not reimbursed; he merely gave it back to the Mongolian government. Because that’s what wannabe superheroes do.