Prehistoric pinch: Janesville couple search for stolen dinosaur

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Nick Crow
Saturday, July 12, 2014

JANESVILLE —Janesville residents should be on the look-out for a prehistoric creature that might be roaming yards in the Rock County area.

No, it's not a scene from the movie "Jurassic Park." The missing dinosaur is from the yard of Janesville residents Alfred and Ingrid Fetting, who found the creature missing from their front lawn the morning of June 17.

"It's a mystery who would take it," Alfred said. "It had to take maybe three people and a truck to get it out of here. It was probably seven feet long and around 250 pounds."

Alfred, who was in construction all his life, started the hobby of making folk art animals to decorate his yard when he retired 20 years ago. He builds them by making a wood and metal skeleton and covering it with a grout stucco exterior. Each animal takes several weeks to construct, he said.

"I was in construction all my life," Alfred said. "We've lived here for 59 years on Liberty Lane. I built the house. When I retired I was wondering what I should do and started making the animals."

All throughout the Fetting yard are Alfred's hand-made animals which include turtles, swans, goats, crocodiles and bears.

The stegosaurus dinosaur was one of his most recent projects, built last year, he said.

People have even offered to buy the animals, but that isn't why Alfred makes them, he said.

"Sometimes people ask but it's not really a serious undertaking," Alfred said. "I do it for the fun of it."

Ingrid was surprised someone would steal one of his works in the middle of the night during a thunderstorm.

"I never thought someone would take it because it's so big and heavy," Ingrid said.

Alfred said he now ties his animals down at night. He is more interested in why someone would take it than wanting to get someone in trouble, he said.

"It's a mystery who would take it," Alfred said. "It's very unusual. Why would anyone take that?"

Alfred said he is considering offering a $100 reward to anyone who may know where it is. He said he would accept the dinosaur back no questions asked if someone wanted to return it.

"We've never had any issues with anyone taking anything," Alfred said. "That's the biggest question. What was the purpose? Did they steal it because they liked it? Was it for fun? Or did they steal it just to take something from someone? I think it's an insult."

"Or maybe it's a compliment," Ingrid responded. "It depends on how you look at it."

"It will be interesting to see if we ever find out where it is," she said. "It would be a miracle if it came back."

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