Cops Find Stolen Pig in a Blanket

Pilfered porker dodges slaughter

A $15,000 bronze pig statue that was stolen from outside of a restaurant has been found wrapped in a blanket.

Kevin Mattick said that he got a call from a man after the story aired on NBC.

The man "sounded a bit scared" said the manager of Miguel's Cocina.  "He wanted to return it and was wondering what it would take for the charges to be dropped," he said. 

Mattick thinks the caller is the suspect whose face is clearly seen in a bank surveillance video, which captured the theft of the bronze pig. 

The caller hung up the first time, but later called back. This time he said he wanted to return the pig and said it could be found in front of the Chula Vista Public Library. 

Mattick called the cops, who went to investigate, and sure enough there the porker was, wrapped in a blanket.

Police are planning to dust the pig for hoof prints.

The theft of the $15,000 statue took place at daybreak on April 5th. Police believe the pig may not have been the thieves' original target. Six hours earlier, the men were checking out an ATM 40 feet away from their porcine prize.

The pig was commissioned for the opening of the mall more than five years ago and sat in front of a bronze plaque that reads: "Eat more beef." Now that spot -- with a couple of the bolts still showing -- is covered with a trash can.

Nobody's sure how much the porker weighs; only that it took a couple of tries for the thieves to knock it over backing up in a pickup truck. It took both of them to lift it onto the truck.

"I'm sure we'll be seeing them on world's dumbest criminals," Mattick said.

Some people familiar with the caper had no sympathy for the crooks, though.

"Grown men! " said Chula Vista resident Alex Brown. "You've got to deal with the consequences, pretty much.  Sorry!  Sorry!  You ain't gonna get a slap on the wrist.  You've got to deal with it when it comes.  Maybe you'll learn better the next time."

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