The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

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June 5, 2014

Moosenappers return store figure, beat up but repairable

HERMITAGE — Kris the moose is home again – safe, but not quite sound just yet.

Moosenappers stole the statuary-like moose figure from Cottage Gardens sometime Monday night or early Tuesday morning. When employees of the Hermitage garden and flower shop arrived Wednesday morning, they discovered the moose had been dumped off overnight.

“He had a rough night,’’ said Ryen Roberts, Cottage Gardens’ co-owner said. “But it’s nothing some zip ties and wire can’t fix.’’

Composed of wires on the inside, the moose was initially kept inside but was moved out front along East State Street over the past year. Dubbed by store employees as Kris, named after Kris Kringle, he has been decorated with seasonal Christmas lights and flowers.

More recently covered in burlap, he became a favorite to motorists driving past the store. Roberts, who offered a no-questions-asked policy for his return, credited publicity about the theft for his reappearance.

But it will take some work to get Kris back in shape. He got a little beat up with some of his appendages broken.

“Somebody probably just threw him from their truck,’’ Roberts said.

She notified Hermitage police of his return and now considers the case closed. Valued at $975, thieves could have been charged with a first-degree misdemeanor. A conviction can carry a maximum penalty of up to 5 years in prison.

Weighing 75 pounds and standing 6 feet tall and 7 feet in length, whoever stole him had to pick him up as one piece.

Discovering him at a trade show three years ago, Roberts immediately fell in love with the creature.

“We’ll put him back together again,’’ she said.

But that may take a little time. This is the store’s busiest time of the year and she doesn’t want to take employees away from customers.

“Don’t worry,’’ she said. “He will stand again.’’

 

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