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Disappearing dinosaur: $500 reward offered

Morgan Burgess from the Dinosaur Museum stands where a raptor dinosaur was stolen last week.

Morgan Burgess from the Dinosaur Museum stands where a raptor dinosaur was stolen last week. Photo: Colleen Petch

The owners of a three metre long dinosaur statue stolen from Canberra's National Dinosaur Museum have offered a $500 reward for its return.

Police say there have been no confirmed sightings of the missing Utahraptor, despite one claim it had been dumped near the sewage treatment works.

The fibreglass Utahraptor statue was stolen from the Gold Creek Road, Nicholls attraction some time between 5.30pm on Thursday and 9am on Friday.

Police investigate Shepherds Lookout for the missing Utahraptor dinosaur, stolen from the National Dinosaur Museum at Gold Creek last week.

Police investigate Shepherds Lookout for the missing Utahraptor dinosaur, stolen from the National Dinosaur Museum at Gold Creek last week. Photo: Katherine Griffiths

Museum education manager Phil Hore said there had been a number of tip-offs from members of the public since the theft.

“We have had a lot of phone calls, including some this morning,” he said. “One woman thought she saw it at a flower show in Melbourne but it was another statue with one of our directors.”

“There have been one or two more substantial tips and the police are following those up.”

The National Dinosaur museum's T-rex was vandalised mid last year. Tour guide Krystal Collins examines the damage in this file photo.

The National Dinosaur museum's T-rex was vandalised mid last year. Tour guide Krystal Collins examines the damage in this file photo. Photo: Melissa Adams

A Facebook page devoted to Canberra gossip includes today an entry claiming to be from one of thieves, who suggests the statue was stolen with a ute and thrown off a suburban lookout site.

An ACT Policing spokesperson said one patrol unit checked Shepherds Lookout, near Holt, but it wasn't there.

Other social media sites have joined in the prehistoric pursuit, with one parody from the Canberra Memes page shared by more than 270 people on Facebook.

Morgan Burgess from the Dinosaur Museum.

Morgan Burgess from the Dinosaur Museum. Photo: Colleen Petch

Mr Hore said the reward would be offered to anyone with accurate information that lead to the return of the statue.

“It's not like it's a garden gnome or something. It will be hard to hide and does look like a very big dinosaur,” he said.

Investigators said the missing statue is 1.6 metres tall and 3 metres long, brown in colour with dark stripes.

This Utahraptor was stolen from the National Dinosaur Museum.

This Utahraptor was stolen from the National Dinosaur Museum. Photo: Supplied

They ask anyone who knows where the statue is or anyone who saw it being taken to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or at www.act.crimestoppers.com.au.

Mr Hore said the theft came as the privately-owned museum was preparing to celebrate its 20th anniversary.

The museum was also attacked in mid-2012, when vandals damaged a Tyrannosaurus Rex head and removed its silicon teeth.

The attack came just three months after it was installed as part of a $150,000 refurbishment. The statue, which was stolen during preparations for the museum’s 20th anniversary,
was imported from overseas with a pricetag of more than $2500.

8 comments

  • I'm sure it will turn up within time.. how hard would it be to spot a 3 metre long dinosaur!

    Commenter
    T-Rex
    Location
    Canberra
    Date and time
    March 25, 2013, 10:57AM
    • Not as hard as wrestling it into the boot. (I'm assuming)

      Commenter
      WotTha?????
      Date and time
      March 25, 2013, 12:39PM
    • Perhaps they tied it on top of the car!

      Commenter
      T-Rex
      Location
      Canberra
      Date and time
      March 25, 2013, 2:20PM
    • I have got video of the Ute it was on leaving the scene, and the dino in question enterring the mall.

      Commenter
      CanberranChris
      Date and time
      March 25, 2013, 7:00PM
  • If you check out the Canberra Confessions Facebook page it has supposedly been thrown off the lookout near the sewer works in Holt. Whether its true or not... I guess we will find out

    Commenter
    Derby Chick
    Date and time
    March 25, 2013, 1:11PM
    • It looks like the Utahraptor has a cool green hairstyle in this photo attached to the article. I hope the rumor of the dinosaur being through off the lookout at Holt is just a rumour and not fact. Very disappointing.

      Commenter
      disappointed
      Date and time
      March 25, 2013, 3:40PM
      • Just spotted it entering Belconnen mall.

        Commenter
        CanberranChris
        Date and time
        March 25, 2013, 5:58PM
        • it was last seen on the top of Bob Katters' car racing down the highway ..... word is its going to be the mascot for his new party!

          Commenter
          yatalaboy
          Location
          Gold Coast
          Date and time
          March 25, 2013, 6:58PM
          Comments are now closed
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