From there to here, from here to there, things are stolen everywhere.
This time, it’s a 300-pound, three-foot-high bronze statue of Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax, star of the recent animated film of the same name.
It’s been swiped from the late author’s hillside estate overlooking the Pacific Ocean in San Diego, police said Tuesday. It was reported missing Monday morning, said Lt. Andra Brown.
Police are trying to ascertain if the theft was related to the movie — starring the voices of Zac Efron and Taylor Swift — that’s still playing in theaters.
“We don’t know if it’s just a prank because of the recent release of the movie, or if someone thinks it’s going to be worth a buck or two because it’s a lot of (metal),” Brown said.
“We’re just hoping that the suspects return it,” she added. “The Geisel family is just asking that it be returned, and they don’t want to pursue the matter any further. Which is not to say the police won’t.”
The statue displayed the Lorax standing on a tree stump with his arms outstretched.
Property manager Carl Romero told the U-T San Diego newspaper Tuesday that he found footprints indicating the thieves had dragged the statue to an access road and hoisted it over a fence. Although he had seen the statue Saturday afternoon, Audrey Geisel — Dr. Seuss’ widow — noticed that it was missing Monday morning.
Audrey Geisel still lives on the estate in the San Diego community of La Jolla, California. Theodor Geisel, author of The Lorax and other best-selling kids’ books as Dr. Seuss, died in 1991 at 87.
The statue was one of two cast by Geisel’s stepdaughter, Lark Grey Dimond-Cate, said Brown. The other was donated to the Dr. Seuss National Memorial in Springfield, Massachusetts, the author’s hometown.
Evidence at the scene indicates that the thieves may have rolled the statue down the hill to a neighboring property, then loaded it onto a waiting vehicle, said Brown.
“I want very badly to get our little Lorax back home where he belongs,” said Dimond-Cate. “Wherever he is, he’s scared, lonely and hungry. He’s not just a hunk of metal to us. He was a family pet.”
She hopes that the Lorax’s recently revived fame is the reason for the theft. Otherwide, Dimond-Cate said, the Lorax may have been stolen for the bronze.
“I hope he hasn’t been taken across the border into Tijuana for scrap,” she said. “Worst-case scenario, I’ll get the foundry to create another one, but he won’t be the same.”
The statue was stolen just before security cameras were installed, and few knew of its location, said Romero.
Audrey Geisel just wants the Lorax returned and doesn’t feel like punishing anyone, Romero added.
“You can’t sell it on eBay.”