In March 2012, the 300-pound, cast-bronze statue of the Lorax, a character from a book by the late children’s author, was stolen from the La Jolla property of his widow, Audrey Geisel.
The garden statue and its stump inscribed with “Unless” was discovered missing by the estate’s property manager, who said he saw footprints in the garden. Thieves apparently rolled the statue on its stump down a hill, lifting it over a chain-link fence and into a getaway vehicle.
Fast-forward to Aug. 21, 2013, when police detectives from San Diego’s Northern Division recovered the statue in thick brush off a canyon at 7500 Country Club Drive in La Jolla. They were led to the statue’s hidden resting place by a tip from the Bozeman Police Department.
A 22-year-old man had walking into the Bozeman police station with knowledge of the Lorax thefts and other crimes committed in San Diego, as well as in Hawaii and Bozeman.
The missing statue has since been returned to the Geisel estate.
Commenting on the Lorax’s recovery, Geisel, 92, said she greeted the return of the Lorax “with joy.”
The police investigation into the theft of the statue is ongoing and charges are pending.