We all know Thurman Thomas is going to be at BECHS tonight, talking football. We also know where his 8 1/2 foot, half-ton sculpture is. It went missing just after its unveiling, following the Buffalo Bills terrible loss to the Cleveland Browns on Sunday. The statue is across the Canadian border in Welland, but getting it back became a problem for the thieves.
Thurman went north to Welland, when some rather young, inebriated, very strong…and now very scared Canadian teenagers made off with the statue in the back of their pick-up truck. They even declared it at the Peace Bridge, much to the amusement of the border guard, and they were waived through. Recap: drunken, with stolen property, and wood – which carries its own requirements for cross-border crossing – and nary a problem at the bridge.
The teen whose truck carried the booty got to work this morning, only to see his misdeed trumpeted on FOX News. He immediately found contact information for the statue’s originators, Carvings for a Cause Founder Therese Forton-Barnes and Director Frank Crowe. “This poor kid has called all day,” Crowe says. “He wanted me to come and get the statue. No way I was going to do that.”
At this point, police know the Canadian youth’s identity. Crowe says that he and Forton-Barnes have no intention of pressing charges, but he says the police in Orchard Park, Welland and Fort Erie are on the job now, and that there may be layers of charges filed regarding the prank. “We asked police to go easy on him. He called crying. It’s been in all the national media – and now international – but he decided that if it was on FOX, it must be really bad.”
The thief may have been crying, but Thomas himself is getting a pretty good laugh out of the whole thing, according to Crowe, and is even putting updates on twitter. “The funny thing,” Crowe says, “is that yesterday, Therese and I were on 97 Rock to talk with Jixter about this, and he said, ‘I bet it was eight drunk Canadians.’ When this kid told me he was in Welland, I couldn’t believe it.”
“Canada and drunken teenagers,” Crowe muses. “It makes me think of that George Carlin line about Canada being like a small loft apartment over a really great party. Still, I feel bad for the kid; I get the feeling that the Canadian side is really going to hang him out to dry.”
Image: 97 Rock