Crime

Thieves nab Royals ‘player’ from billboard

Someone stole a three-dimensional Royals outfielder off one of Lamar Advertising’s billboards promoting Hy-Vee on Wednesday night. Jackson County sheriff’s deputies are investigating.
Someone stole a three-dimensional Royals outfielder off one of Lamar Advertising’s billboards promoting Hy-Vee on Wednesday night. Jackson County sheriff’s deputies are investigating.

The Kansas City Royals may have just dropped three road games, but seriously?

Someone apparently thought it was a good idea Wednesday night to climb onto the Hy-Vee billboard at Interstate 435 and Truman Road and steal the three-dimensional, 14-foot-tall, 150-pound center fielder leaping against an image of the outfield wall at Kauffman Stadium.

“I would like to believe that somebody out having a good time last night thought that would be a really cool thing to do, but I don’t know,” said Bob Fessler, a vice president with the local company Lamar Advertising.

Workers traveling north on I-435 called in when they noticed the Royals player had been removed. The company filed a theft report with the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office, which assigned deputies to investigate.

The billboard campaign kicked off at the start of the season. There are five similar billboards throughout the city.

The 3-D players have four connection points to the billboard. The thief or thieves removed the connections, dropped the figure and hauled it away.

Ironically, the players were scheduled to be taken down and stored away. They are scheduled to be placed back on the billboards at the end of the baseball season.

Two have already been taken down. Fessler said they are waiting to hear from the advertising agency that created the campaign to find out what to do next.

“We have been vandalized, we have been tagged, we have been spray-painted, but nothing like this,” he said.

The Royals' new 3D billboard featuring Salvador Perez was visited by Perez during installation on Monday morning at Southwest Trafficway and Westport Road.

Glenn E. Rice: 816-234-4341, @GRicekcstar

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