Goubeaux stuck humorous rhyming signs on the lawn, which state, “In the spirit of Easter we forgive you...” and “just to spite you now there’s 2!!!”
The point of the signage, Goubeaux began, is to “let the perpetrator know...”
“...he cannot defeat our Easter spirit,” finished Sickinger.
During an interview, the partners noted Easter bunnies aren’t the point of the Christian season.
Their yard is often decked out for one holiday or another: Halloween, Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter and, coming up, Memorial Day. To say they’re no strangers to lawn decorating is an understatement (Sickinger has a whole storage unit only full of Christmas decor), but this marks the first time in five years of decorating in Powell that they’ve had something stolen from their yard.
What made the rabbit more appealing than other items they’ve displayed is a mystery; Goubeaux said the theft came as an “absolute shock,” noting the prevalence of Easter bunnies this time of year.
She expressed her shock in a since-replaced initial sign, which read, “Somebody STOLE the Easter Bunny!”
“People need to know — watch out for your bunnies,” Goubeaux said.
They know the rabbit was taken sometime between 11:30 p.m. Thursday, March 24 and 7 a.m. Friday, March 25.
“It wasn’t the wind that took the bunny because the stakes, the ties, everything was gone,” said Sickinger.
It made for an interesting call to Powell police.
“I said, ‘My 7-foot rabbit’s been stolen,’ and they said, ‘Pardon me?’” Sickinger recalled.
After the initial confusion, she gave the dispatcher the description: 7 feet tall, last seen wearing a purple vest and green bow tie.
Sickinger’s theory — also suggested by the responding police officer — is that the theft was likely a college prank. She figures it’s somewhere outside or in a dormitory.
While disappointed, the partners don’t see the point in getting angry about it.
“We have to have a sense of humor,” said Sickinger, who’s been joking to friends that they’ve been “bunny-napped,” and are waiting for a ransom note.
They’re still holding out hope for the safe return of rabbit “Roger,” but Sickinger wasted no time in hopping online and special-ordering two more bunnies after the theft. She chose the speediest delivery available, getting them here Monday. So, in what the partners note is a fitting Easter tribute, inflatable bunnies rose again three days later on the Fourth Street lawn.
“Most people can’t believe I got rabbits that fast,” said Sickinger.
Sickinger has quipped to friends that if the two new rabbits are stolen she’ll buy four more; in seriousness, she’s hoping these decorations will be left alone.
Unlike some pricey items that at times decorate the lawn, the bunny’s cost was “not nothing,” but minimal — around $40.
More concerning to the couple than the financial loss is that the decorations are intended in large part for the kids who regularly pass by the home to and from school. In fact, preschoolers from a friends’ day care are scheduled to have an Easter egg hunt on the decked-out lawn. Had Sickinger not quickly ordered new bunnies, the egg search could have been scrapped.
“You didn’t just steal from us, you stole from the kids,” Goubeaux says to the thief, or thieves.
They would take the stolen rabbit back, anonymously or otherwise, without any questions.
“We forgive them, but we would like the bunny returned,” said Sickinger.
Noting the replacement rabbits are already in place, “It would even be OK if you returned the bunny after Easter,” said Goubeaux.