TEMPLE, Texas (KWTX) A Temple woman is offering a reward for the return of a lifelike statue of a soda-drinking chimpanzee that was stolen from the front yard of her home, where she’s displayed life-size animal statues for nearly six years.
"I put these animals out for children, the neighborhood and for my grandchildren," said Janetta, who asked that we not use her last name.
As Janetta headed out to go to the doctor Monday morning, she spotted a clump of dirt in the front yard and then discovered the statue of the chimp, which she had placed in the yard just last week, was gone.
"Someone stole it. It was cemented in, they had to have dug up," she said.
"You have to be very ruthless to come into someone's yard and invade their privacy and mess with their personal property," she said.
The yard of her home, which is filled with statues of everything from zebras to peacocks to rhinos, is hard to miss, and this isn’t the first time it’s caught the eyes of thieves.
In May, someone took the statues of two sumo wrestlers from her yard.
"It's disturbing and it hurt me. I cried and I cried because I put a lot of time in my garden," she said.
Janetta who’s spent thousands of dollars decorating her yard, says she’s not just worried about her beloved statue, but also her safety.
"If they're starting in my yard when will they get to my house?” she said.
“It just hurts, it just hurts.”
Janetta reported the theft to Temple police, who say they’re investigating.
Anyone with information about the theft may call the Temple Police Department at (254) 298-5500.