Some lawn ornament thieves target pink flamingos, but a man in rural North Carolina set his sights on a much bigger bird. He’s been accused of using a tractor to steal a 1000-pound concrete chicken statue, the Statesville Record & Landmark reports.
Alexander County police believe that Andrew Emilious Justice of Taylorsville, North Carolina, stole the lawn ornament, which is more than 3 feet tall, from a poultry farm last weekend. On February 16, authorities apprehended Justice and charged him with felony larceny and misdemeanor injury to real property.
Nobody quite knows what may have motivated Justice to commit such a cocky crime. But we do know that in addition to being massive, the statue was also expensive: It cost $1100 and was a birthday gift from the poultry farm’s owner to his wife, NPR reports.
The chicken statue stood on the farm until it mysteriously disappeared overnight, between February 11 and February 12. Police found the base several miles away, but the statue was still missing; they later discovered broken pieces of the statue scattered along the road. Authorities also located a tractor believed to belong to Justice that had white paint on its forks (presumably from the rooster statue).
Justice is scheduled to appear in court on Monday. In addition to larceny and property damage, he also faces a charge of reckless driving: When arriving to meet police, the accused thief reportedly sped off the state highway and into the driveway, proving that there's more than one way to run a-fowl of the law.
[h/t Atlas Obscura]