I really hope it turns up again. I miss seeing the Santa Claus hat on it. Even for a prank, I’d say it’s pretty low. —Christian Wutz
SALT LAKE CITY — "Rapty" is missing.
The velociraptor statute that’s been a fixture in Salt Lake City's artsy 9th and 9th neighborhood for a decade was stolen over the weekend.
“Just bring it back,” said Janelle Smith, Rapty's owner. “It was funny, but not really.”
The 6-foot-tall, metal statue was likely taken Saturday night from the front yard of the home at 926 S. 900 East while the family was in Park City, Smith said.
Neighbors on Monday said it had been a popular plaything for children and a photo prop for passers-by.
“I really hope it turns up again. I miss seeing the Santa Claus hat on it,” Christian Wutz lamented. “Even for a prank, I’d say it’s pretty low.”
Wutz said the statue spiced up the neighborhood.
Grant Tinkham said it was really sad the raptor was stolen.
“How many people have a velociraptor statue in the front yard?” Tinkham remarked.
Al Sacharov called the heist a capital crime.
“When they find the person who stole this dinosaur, they should be sentenced to be eaten by a dinosaur,” Sacharov exclaimed, then walked away.
Smith said the family had even created a location to pin for Rapty on social media websites such as Facebook and Foursquare.
“It’s kind of fun,” she said. “It makes you feel like it’s actually part of the community.”
Smith said the statue had been stolen once before by college students who returned it a year later when they moved out and had nowhere else to store it.
“We were thrilled, but I don’t want it to be gone for a year,” she said.
Smith said she suspects a similar prank was in play in the latest heist, rather than an attempt to sell the statue for scrap.
“(Someone) probably took it and put it somewhere unexpected,” she said. “It gets a lot of attention, obviously, so I could see someone wanting to take it and put it somewhere kind of funny and see what the reaction is.”
Smith said she has elected so far not to report the theft to police. Instead, she said, she's hoping to spread word of the heist through the media.
The family has created an email for tips about the stolen raptor statue at firstname.lastname@example.org.