Elkhorn police recover fiberglass chickens stolen from fairgrounds

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Pedro Oliveira Jr.
February 23, 2010
— Elkhorn police Monday recovered two fiberglass chickens stolen last year from the Walworth County Fairgrounds entrance.

The chickens were part of a welcome display, which includes chickens, a pig, a cow and a couple of horses. The animals are welded to a metal pin and cemented to the ground.

Police Chief Joel Christensen said the chickens were recovered after being missing since October. Christensen said Elkhorn police received an anonymous tip identifying Jimmy L. Ihde, 27, of Walworth and Ashley E. Comstock, 24, of Elkhorn as the perpetrators.

Ihde and Comstock admitted taking the chickens and giving them as a gift to Comstock's grandparents, who live in Lyons Township, Christensen said.

The grandparents seemed to have no idea the chickens were stolen, the police chief said.

Ihde and Comstock were issue municipal citations for theft, which each carry a forfeiture of $303.

The chickens were returned to the fairgrounds Monday.

Walworth County Fair Board spokeswoman Sue Pruessing said the fiberglass chickens will be put back into place after the ground thaws.

"Now we're really going to make them secure," she said.

Pruessing praised the Elkhorn Police Department's efforts in seeking the chickens.

"Got to give those boys some credit," she said. "It's amazing they found them."

The fair welcome sign was developed in the last couple of years and was finished last summer in time for the fair's 160th anniversary.

Pruessing said the sign was created with help from Gary and Sue Wallem of Elkhorn. They donated time, money and managed the project to completion.

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