Thieves around the world are often noted for their sleight of hand, their ability to conceal what is not theirs and spirit it away to a place of safe-keeping undetected. Some are true masters of the art.
Fifty-year-old Manuel Lopez-Mendoza of the East Texas town of Diboll is not one of those people.
According to this report, last December Lopez-Mendoza thought he could get away with swiping an eight-foot tall hot pink fiberglass bunny rabbit from its home guarding the entrance to a Diboll snow cone stand.
Did he put it in a van, cover it in blankets and make it to his hideout, only to be foiled by a snitching accomplice?
Nope. Lopez-Mendoza allegedly just hoisted the enormous thing into the back of his pick-up truck and attempted to drive it home, his wife sitting by his side all the while.
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Somehow this unconventional payload came to the attention of Diboll police. One cop recognized the gargantuan, day-glo bunny and radioed a fellow cop, who confirmed it was missing from the snow-cone joint. The couple were apprehended near the Lufkin Wal-Mart and charged with theft.
Lopez-Mendoza and his wife initially attempted to say that "someone" sold them the Harvey-esque monstrosity, but there would be no hoppy ending for them, as that defense fell short of persuading the prosecution. Yesterday morning, Lopez-Mendoza pleaded guilty to theft and accepted a two-year probated sentence and agreed to pay $500 in restitution. That's a lotta carrots. (The charge against his wife was dropped.)
The couple's motive in the bunny-napping is unknown.