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?
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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.
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.