WASHINGTON COUNTY (KDKA) — Police in Washington County are trying to track down the person who stole a 12-foot tall fiberglass rooster statue from outside a local business.

Tim’s Secret Treasures in Charleroi specializes in antiques and other hard-to-find items. Co-owner Rhonda Jaquay says the store is a big draw because of the animals they have on display in their yard.

The statues are often purchased by local businesses throughout the area – including Deluca’s restaurant in the Strip District. The giant rooster on their roof came from Tim’s Secret Treasures. But they aren’t cheap. The one that was stolen this weekend was worth $2,000.

It all started when neighbors who live near the store noticed someone loading one of the giant statues into the back of a Dodge Ram pick-up truck early Saturday morning. They called Jaquay’s son, and he called his mother.

“He said, ‘Mom, you need to get up,’” says Jaquay. “At first I thought he was joking. Then, when I realized he was really serious, I guess the funniness turned to a lot of anger, because I thought to myself, ‘You’ve got to be kidding me!’ We’ve owned that place for seven years, and nobody ever went in that yard.”

Officers say they spotted the missing rooster in the back of Brody Nichols’ pick-up truck. When they tried to pull him over, he drove off, leading police on a high-speed chase.

During the chase, officers say the rooster statue fell out of the truck bed and broke. Police went to Nichols’ home to try to find him, but he wasn’t there.

Now they have a warrant out for his arrest. When they do find him, he’ll face charges of aggravated assault and attempting to flee a police officer, as well as other charges.

Jaquay says she and her husband have no plans to change security at the store. They already have surveillance cameras and very alert neighbors.

They also have no plans to move the animal statues inside, or put up a fence.

“There’s crime and things that happen everywhere, but nobody’s ever bothered them. So why would I move them because of one person?” said Jaquay.

She also says she’s not sure why someone would steal one of the statues, but that she’s sure the person responsible won’t forget the incident anytime soon.

She says, “I don’t think that rooster in a million years was worth all the trouble that it will cause in his life, here and in the future.”

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Kristine Sorensen