Today’s news:

Park Slope missing bird statue

Move over Nancy Drew, Park Slope’s kid detective is on the case

The Brooklyn Paper

A bird-brained bandit stole a metal sculpture of a heron from a Park Slope family’s garden — and now there’s a 7-year-old sleuth trying to crack the case with the help of her mom.

The mystery began when 13th Street resident Amy Yang returned home on the afternoon of June 7 and spotted a trail of sand leading from her yard to the sidewalk.

“I didn’t think anything of it; I thought my son had been playing,” she said.

That is until Yang discovered a rusty thigh-high statue of a bird — a one-of-a-kind lawn ornament made of found objects she bought at a yard sale in Maine eight years ago — had vanished from its perch.

Yang was stunned by the disappearance of her pointy-beaked friend when a neighbor said she had spotted a man who looked like a construction worker in his 30s lugging the sculpture down the street at around noon.

That’s when Yang, her son Mars, and her daughter Luna sprang into action.

The family penned a sign dubbing the bandit “The Birdlar” and asked for the statue’s safe return.

“Dear Birdlar, you stole our bird sculpture,” reads the message, which hangs from their gate near Seventh Avenue. “Please return it!”

In hopes of bringing the bird back to its rightful home, Luna, 7, scanned the scene of the crime and discovered a crucial clue with some help from her brother.

“We found a footprint with squares on it,” said the young crime fighter, whose middle name actually is Danger (editor’s note: this is a fact, not a rhetorical device). “I think it was size eleven.”

The motive behind the heist remains unclear — it could be a prank or perhaps an attempt to resell the bird for scrap metal, said Yang.

Either way, she has chosen not to file a police report, claiming the $100 statue simply has sentimental value.

Yang and her children aren’t the only people who miss the bird. Plenty of parents and students from PS107, which is about a block away, have enjoyed catching a glimpse of the winged artwork, which stood perched next to a cactus in the yard, for years.

Now she says she simply wants it back — no questions asked.

“He looked so cool sitting there,” she said. “It’s kind of a mystery.”

The bird-napping comes after a thief swiped a different piece of quirky neighborhood art — a bunch of “tree sweaters” specially knitted for arbors by a Park Slope artist.

Reach reporter Natalie O'Neill at noneill@cnglocal.com or by calling her at (718) 260-4505.

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Reader Feedback

Ron from Bay Ridge says:
What a made up article
June 19, 2012, 10:44 am
Keith Malek from Gravesend says:
So let me get this straight. A $100 statue went missing, so some child pulled out her detective set and then...failed to find either the statue or the thief? Wow! Thanks for putting this in the "news"paper. I wonder if anything else important happened that we need to be notified about, like, say, a riveting game of hide and seek among kindergartners?

I understand that this is a free "news"paper, but get serious. Keep in mind that, somewhere, a tree was cut down for it.
June 25, 2012, 5:05 pm
Steph Glass from Park Slope. says:
I may have solved a mystery.

I have a hunch that these are the children of Jason “J” Milligan-- the children's book and young adult novel author, former employee of Children's Television Workshop and 'Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego?'

The circumstantial evidence of children with the cloying hipster yuppie names "Luna Danger" and "Mars" has Milligan's heavy-handed fingerprints all over it.

I don't have proof the theft was an inside job, but if this mystery ends with a cutesy book deal for the kids (or TV show!) the storybook ending will hardly be a surprise. Remember sleuths, profit is a motive!

Was The Brooklyn Paper aware of Mr. Milligan's profession, and did not see fit to report that detail?
June 27, 2012, 12:21 pm

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