The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

They’re cowards, not master thieves


October 22, 2005

Karl Terry: PNT Managing Editor

Dirty little coward. That’s the best description I can come up with for someone who would steal from the elderly.

If you missed it in the paper this week, I’m talking about the recent bear caper that occurred at The Bee Hive assisted living home on South Main. Someone stole a chainsaw carving of a bear off the front porch at the home during the dark of the night. The bear was thought to be perpetually inspecting a wooden bee hive hanging from the porch for honey, until he went missing a couple weeks ago.

He had reportedly made a lot of friends among the seniors at the home and had become the mascot for the facility. But now he’s gone. Taken by someone with larceny in their hearts and likely not a clue as to what they would do with the ursine beast once he possessed it.

The PNT’s story evidently activated some interest in the case as the manager told me late this week that she had fielded several calls from the citizenry reporting bear sightings, I even offered one myself. Unfortunately, as far as we know, none of them has produced the A.W.O.L. bruin.

One bit of good news was the call I got from Harve Twight from KEDU Public Radio in Ruidoso. Harve had read the story and it outraged him as much as it did me. He was looking for a way to hook The Bee Hive up with a new bear by tapping his chainsaw artist contacts in Ruidoso. I still haven’t heard back how that’s going but it’s not nearly as good as if whoever stole the bear would just put it back.

Thinking about how nice it would be if the two-bit criminal would return the thing, I was reminded of the movie The Thomas Crown Affair. There were actually two of them, one in 1968 and another in 1999.

Wealthy businessman Thomas Crown, played by Pierce Brosnan in 1999 and Steve McQueen in 1968, is also a master thief who specializes in stealing works of art for his own personal pleasure. He pulls off an unbelievable caper, stealing a priceless painting, against great odds, only to allow love to get in the way and cause his conscience to make him (I’m giving away the plot here) put it back.

I seriously doubt that whoever stole the bear is a wealthy art collector in the community, who will just enjoy having it in their collection. I also doubt that they even got much more enjoyment than the kick of pulling it off. So, obviously, the best way to appeal to this person to do the right thing, is to challenge them to put it back.

I thought about that a little bit and decided that stealing it over there on that corner with no house across the street wasn’t that much of a challenge. Prove how good you really are by leaving it on the courthouse steps some night.

That probably won’t happen though, because we’re not dealing with the likes of Thomas Crown here — we’re dealing with a dirty little coward.


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