On Wednesday, July 3, police arrested three young adults in San Mateo, Florida accused of stealing a 9-foot tall, 600-pound cast-aluminum chicken statue on Tuesday around six in the morning. The local landmark was taken from a roadside stand on East State Road 100.
The Putnam County Sheriff’s Office charged 18-year-old James Smith, 19-year-old Darrin Edwards and 21-year-old Tyler Jones with grand theft after receiving positive identification from review of video surveillance and eyewitness statements, including an account by Ben Smith the owner of the statue who, while getting ready for work, heard noise and then saw them driving away with it. Darrin Edwards was charged with violating probation in addition to grand theft.
Two of the men dragged the purple-colored chicken behind a Chevrolet pick-up truck for approximately a mile, while the third rode on its back.
Damage to the statue is extensive. It has side scoring, as well as a broken claw and leg. The chicken statue is valued at $2,300 (US).
Since last week, Putnam County Jail has released Smith and Jones on a bond of $1,004 each. Edward’s parole violation prevented bond and he remains in jail.
Steve Petellis started working for Buffalo Morning Star in 2016. Steve grew up in a small town in northern Michigan. He studied chemistry in college, graduated, and married his wife one month later. He has been a proud New Yorker for the past 5 years. Steve covers politics and the economy. Previously he wrote for the Washington City Paper, The Hill newspaper, Slate Magazine, and The Public.