Chipmunk Figurine Recovered; Teens Charged

They had Simon. But they wanted more.

Three north suburban teens have been charged with theft after officers recovered the missing chipmunk figurine in a north suburban home -- in the process uncovering an alleged plot to steal yet another figurine.

The thwarted plot to steal Theodore was uncovered on a social networking Web site, where the teens discussed returning to the Gurnee Cinema lobby at Gurnee Mills on Feb. 17 to steal the second figurine, police said.

Eric Pasiewicz, 18, of Beach Park; Ryan Sibley, 18 of Beach Park, and a 16-year-old Beach Park boy were charged with local ordinance theft after police found the Simon figurine at one of the suspects' homes, according to a release from Gurnee police.

Simon was reported missing Feb. 11 after a group of teens took the figurine out of the lobby to their car and drove away.  The incident was captured on surveillance video in the theater, although there appeared to be a group of 15 to 20 teens all leaving at the same time.

A tip led an officer to the identities to those involved, which led him to information on the social networking site, police said.

On Feb. 16, the Simon figurine was recovered in Beach Park at the home of one of the teens.  Employees at the theater said the figurines are valued at $300 to $400 each. 

Even though Alvin has always been the star, the incident was the second time Simon had been targeted.

Last November,Simon was grabbed by a man from the front of the Ridge Theater in New Berlin, Wis., not far from Milwaukee


In that case, video captured the man taking the chipmunk, breaking its tail as he crammed it into his trunk. But it also showed him buying a ticket with his credit card, which led to his arrest.

Copyright CHIST - SunTimes
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