Lawn ornaments gone missing in Delaware

May 14, 2008 5:59:45 AM PDT
Police in New Castle County, Delaware are trying to catch the thieves stealing outdoor decorations from homes and businesses in the area.

"They meant a lot to me," says Bill Nardo, talking about the 2 cement lions that have been sitting at the foot of his driveway for the last 13 years. He even built the brick pillars to serve as their pedestal at his home in New Castle.

On Saturday, May 3rd, his own surveillance camera caught a thief stealing one of the lions and putting into a getaway car. "I couldn't believe it, in broad daylight, and nobody saw anything."

Nardo's lawn decorations, valued at $250 each, weren't the only ones recently stolen. Three days later, at a home on Malvern Road in Newark, a small statue of a person holding a lantern was targeted.

"These items are sentimental, and we want to return them to the owners," says Corporal Trinidad Navarro of the New Castle County Police Department.

The managers of Delcastle Miniature Golf Course here in Wilmington also want their stolen item returned.

It's a fixture that had been at this business since it opened 20 years ago, one that's hard to miss, a 10 to12 foot tall giraffe weighing about 70 pounds, that children at the course adore.

"I try to make sure the animals aren't taken, but I guess I wasn't successful," says Peter Thein, who helps manage the property here.

He says usually the $500 plaster giraffe is bolted down, but last week strong winds weakened it's base.

The thief climbed through the gate in the middle of the night and stole the huge ornament.

If it was a joke, police say the consequences aren't funny.

"Once you start adding up the dollar amounts, it's a felony, not a prank.", Navarro says. Police believe the thieves may be teenagers with too much time on their hands.