This is a tough case to quack
Lawn-ornament caper takes unfortunate detour to landfill

By William Croyle
Enquirer staff writer

FLORENCE - For six years, Lori Myers' duck stood quietly on her front porch on Roberta Avenue, never bothering anybody.

That's why when she pulled into her drive Tuesday afternoon, she was floored.

"I said 'Hey, someone kicked the head off my duck!' " Myers said.

But the concrete ornament was not the only victim. A plastic pink flamingo that had graced her front lawn - a Mother's Day gift - was gone.

Myers called police. They told her to go across Ky. 18 to a home on Utz Drive, she said, where numerous lawn ornaments had mysteriously appeared overnight.

The home belonged to Renae Martin, who was dumbfounded by the display in her yard. There were lawn ornaments everywhere - about 35 of them - when she got up Tuesday morning.

There was Myers' flamingo, "standing up big and tall," Martin said.

And there were plastic geese, baby concrete rabbits and a concrete duck with its ducklings all in a row.

And on her front porch, in a semicircle, as if guarding the front door, were concrete figures of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

"Well, I believe Snow White was there," Martin said. "I know the dwarfs were there."

Martin said police came out at about 7 a.m., assessed the situation, and decided to lay the ornaments near the street so the real owners might see them.

Martin went back to bed and woke up about two hours later. She looked outside and ...

Every ornament was gone.

She thought at first they had all been stolen. But they weren't.

It was garbage day.

"If people put their stuff out by the curb on garbage day, it's going in the truck," said Greg Sowder, operations manager for CSI, which collects garbage on Utz.

Sowder didn't know anything about the ornaments, but said that by then, they were in a landfill in Williamstown.

Myers got the bad news after she went over to Martin's house that afternoon.

"I told her I was sorry, but I had no idea the garbage men would take them," Martin said.

The blame, of course, is on whoever put the ornaments in the yard in the first place.

Police have no leads.

"It's funny, but it's not," Martin said. "It's stealing."

Myers conceded her flamingo was a "cheesy lawn ornament," but it was one she had wanted for years.

As for the duck, its head was never found - but the body will stay.

"It's never been in my way," Myers said.

"I'm so used to having it there, I'll probably just leave it."