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Stolen dinosaur uncovered in Page home

Police have recovered the dinosaur stolen from a Canberra museum

Police have recovered the dinosaur stolen from a Canberra museum

A prehistoric mystery was solved in Canberra on Monday as a three-metre long dinosaur statue was recovered by ACT Police.

The three-day hunt for the missing statue, stolen from Canberra's National Dinosaur Museum late on Thursday night, ended after a police tip-off led investigators to a house in Page.

A 20-year-old man who was last night  assisting police said the missing fiberglass Utahraptor statue had been stolen as part of a birthday prank.

A spokesperson for ACT Police said the man had allegedly stored the statue – valued at $2500 and imported especially for the museum collection – in a sunroom at the rear of the property.

The statue's tail was removed but it was otherwise undamaged.

A special response unit retrieved the dinosaur and transported it to the Belconnen Police Station, where it is expected to be reunited with it relieved owners.

Sergeant Marcus Boorman from Belconnen Patrol said that the man appeared contrite and apologetic for his actions, and had been planning to return the item this evening.

Earlier a police patrol unit attended the popular Shepherds Lookout site, near Holt, after a tip off on a Facebook page devoted to Canberra gossip.

An anonymous user on the Canberra Confessions page claimed to be one of thieves and suggested the statue had been thrown off a viewing platform.

Despite reports in Australian and international media, the search for the missing Utahraptor ran  cold while internet parodies circulated online.

Museum manager Richard Mancuso thanked police and the local community for finding the missing item.

"We are exceptionally happy it has been found after a few days and it is great that the police will be able to resolve the matter," he said.

"The community support we have received from local Canberrans has been very much appreciated."

Mr Mancuso said the museum phone lines had been flooded with information, including from a woman who thought she saw the statue at Melbourne's International Flower and Garden Show.

The museum was also targetted in 2012, when vandals damaged a Tyrannosaurus Rex head and removed its silicon teeth just months after a $150,000 refurbishment.

 

10 comments

  • A special response unit to retrieve it?? Maybe they could get Asio to 'dino sit' them every night....

    Commenter
    I say..
    Location
    Canberra
    Date and time
    March 26, 2013, 7:33AM
    • Love the new police recruit! Not sure what I'd do if he came to the car window to do a breathalyzer!

      Commenter
      Badger
      Location
      Canberra
      Date and time
      March 26, 2013, 9:17AM
      • Just because this is kind of on the funny side I hope they cop the full extent of the law.

        Commenter
        Cai Tel
        Location
        CBR
        Date and time
        March 26, 2013, 9:43AM
        • This is the best photo i have ever seen!

          Commenter
          BB
          Location
          Canberra
          Date and time
          March 26, 2013, 9:52AM
          • So the facts are it was stolen, and the Police should enforce the law in regards these items. No matter what the 'prank' is said persons/children need to understand consequences to their actions.

            Commenter
            open8ted
            Date and time
            March 26, 2013, 10:04AM
            • It is very disappointing that the Museum continues to be subjected to random acts of vandalism and theft. Reflects poorly on us all.

              Commenter
              Outraged of Palmerston
              Date and time
              March 26, 2013, 10:46AM
              • Theft is theft. They should be prosecuted.

                Commenter
                OhSheesh
                Date and time
                March 26, 2013, 11:09AM
                • Next time please use dynabolts to secure the Utahraptor (very poor pun stolen from 2CN)

                  Commenter
                  What do you expect?
                  Date and time
                  March 26, 2013, 5:09PM
                  • I'm confused. The dinosaur is obviously from the U.S.A. in fact it is from Utah. So why did it decide to stop of in Page when heading for the USA embassy?

                    Commenter
                    Returning to its home country
                    Date and time
                    March 26, 2013, 5:11PM
                    • I don't think this is a hanging offense. However possible appropriate punishment for this crime could be volunteer work at the dinosaur musuem. Or a little bit more blood thirsty but very amusing is for the guys involved to have to pose for say two hours for tourists to take photos with torn clothes and fake blood with the Utahraptor's back right claw over their chests! Dinosaur one; pranksters zero!

                      Commenter
                      Let the punishment be appropriate
                      Date and time
                      March 26, 2013, 5:15PM
                      Comments are now closed
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