The 9:38 a.m. call reporting a missing kayak Saturday, Oct. 10, probably wasn’t your average report to 911, but the issue behind it was a serious one.
After all, how often does a kayak hold a scarecrow replica of a nun in front of a Catholic church?
This was during Cambria’s Scarecrow Festival, and the nun sculpture was part of a five-’crow display that’s a recurring, much-loved symbol of the annual celebration of creativity.
Vandalizing scarecrows hasn’t been limited to taking the kayak and leaving the nun scarecrow crumpled on the ground, however.
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As festival board member Dennis Frahmann wrote in an email to The Cambrian (and on Facebook), “Last weekend in San Simeon, someone stole one of the scarecrows and damaged another grouping so badly that the whole group had be removed. The Scarecrow Festival asks anyone who is aware of any details that might identify the vandals, send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org.”
He said, “Our board is concerned that these incidents may be related and hope that anyone who has information … brings it forward.”
Vandals struck in previous years, too, but the theft of the kayak seemed especially egregious to festival board and community members, some of whom vented their feelings on social media.
Dan Eller’s “Blues Brothers” tie, which he bought a decade ago in Korea, was stolen off his scarecrow this year. After vandals damaged wife Linda’s scarecrow last year, the Ellers have decided to “keep our scarecrows at home next year,” he said on Facebook. “Two years of vandalism is too much.”
The investigation is continuing, according to Sheriff’s Office representative Tony Cipolla, but the public’s help is being sought. Tips can be submitted anonymously at the 24-hour Crime Stoppers hotline, 549-7867 (STOP).