WHERE'S THE FIBERGLASS BEEF? Giant 'steer' used in parades goes missing
ST. PAUL Blackie, come home. In a case of modern-day cattle rustling, a giant fiberglass steer -- a staple in the Minnesota State Fair's daily parades for the last five years -- was stolen from its home in St. Paul this summer. Norb Anderson, the...
Blackie, come home.
In a case of modern-day cattle rustling, a giant fiberglass steer -- a staple in the Minnesota State Fair's daily parades for the last five years -- was stolen from its home in St. Paul this summer.
Norb Anderson, the owner of the larger-than-life Angus, said with the leaves off the trees and snow on the ground, the time was right to try and locate his pitch-black livestock look-alike.
"I had hoped someone would have waked up and brought it back," he said.
The 12-foot-long, 8-foot-tall molded steer was taken from its parking spot near Milton and Arlington in St. Paul's Como neighborhood in early August. It sat on a custom white trailer with red wheels -- hitched to Anderson's truck at the time -- awaiting its turn at the Fair.
Anderson, 76, reported the theft to police and assumed the giant parade unit would turn up soon after.
"I was shocked, to tell you the truth," he said today. "I thought somebody was just trying to be funny or playing a prank on somebody, and maybe they'd realize, 'What the hell do we do with this thing?'"
The unit, with trailer, weighed close to 2,000 pounds and carried a price tag of $12,000, Anderson said. The trailer cost another $3,000.
Anderson, who used to run the miniature golf concession at the State Fair and recently sold FAST Corporation -- Fiberglass Animals, Shapes and Trademarks -- out of Sparta, Wis., said he's had fiberglass animals
stolen in the past.
But they've all come back.
From the Fair he's had a 6-foot-tall RCA Victor dog stolen, as well as a 12-foot-long pig.
"The dog took three years to get back," he said. "The pig, well the police had it before I even knew it was gone."
He said he'd be willing to consider a reward for the safe return of the steer.
"I don't want to cause anyone any trouble, but I would also like to get it back," he said.
There's only one other fiberglass Angus steer in the area, Anderson said, and that's sitting atop a couple of 15-foot-tall poles at a feed store in Superior, Wis.
He also has a giant cow that's used in parades and for promotions -- a black and white number named "Colleen" -- and was just up in Forest Lake during the elections.
Even with four months passing between the theft and Anderson going public about the loss, he's still confident that "Blackie" will return home.
"The dog was gone, and it came back. The hog was gone, and it came back," he said. "And now we're looking for an Angus, and hopefully it'll come back."
Anderson said anyone with information about the stolen sculpture can call him at 651-489-3828.
Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.