A 2-foot bronze statue of the Lorax character created by Dr. Seuss' - real name, Theodore Geisel - was taken over the weekend from the backyard of his 90-year-old widow, Audrey.
Lorax lifted, crime scene sifted.
Audrey Geisel noticed the statue and its tree-stump base were missing from her garden. Property manager Carl Romero told U-T San Diego on Tuesday that he found footprints indicating the thieves had dragged the 300-pound statue to an access road and lifted it over a fence.
In the 1971 book "The Lorax," the title character battles to protect the environment against corporate greed. The story's popularity was renewed recently with this year's release of an animated film version of "The Lorax," with Danny DeVito in the leading role.
Audrey Geisel's daughter Lark Grey Dimond-Cate cast two sculptures of the creature (no, not DeVito). One sits at the Dr. Seuss National Memorial in the author's hometown, Springfield, Mass. The other was the now stolen Lorax that had been residing on the family's property overlooking the Pacific Ocean in La Jolla.
Dimond-Cate said she actually hopes the Lorax was taken because of his newfound fame. Otherwise it could mean he was stolen for the bronze.
"I want very badly to get our little Lorax back home where he belongs," Dimond-Cate said. "Wherever he is, he's scared, lonely and hungry. He's not just a hunk of metal to us. He was a family pet."
The family has called San Diego police.
Property manager Romero said Audrey Geisel doesn't want to punish anyone and just wants the Lorax back.
"You can't sell it on eBay," he said.
Citizen sleuths, lookout for the Lorax!