Thieves target Blue Whale in Catoosa
For nearly $15, someone cut the locks on the Blue Whale donation box in Catoosa.The grandson of the man who built the Blue Whale says the crime happened early Wednesday morning.Catoosa Art and Tourism Vice President Jennifer Edwards found out next and couldn’t believe what she saw."We made it from this thick, thick steel and put this heavy duty lock and heavy duty hinges and they were still able to get in it," she said.Volunteers spent $50 and countless hours building this new donation box for the Blue Whale just to see the money stolen again. However, the thieves didn’t get much. "I honestly feel like they probably didn't get enough out of here for us to make the repairs."They got away with less than $20. It might not seem like much but every little bit keeps this Route 66 landmark afloat.Edwards says now that cash is coming out of their pockets. She is taking that personally. "Blood, sweat and tears. I mean blood, sweat and tears," she said. “We've hurt ourselves out here. We've actually bled. We get upset and frustrated when things get broken into." She's not the only one spouting off about the crooks. Locals don't like to hear about their favorite fishing hole being vandalized either.
"I think it's terrible. It's bad. I don't know anyone who would do that," said one teen, who didn’t want to be identified.Police are casting a wide net. But they suspect the culprits are lurking near the pond looking for a crime of opportunity."There’s just no sense in it. It doesn't make any sense,” Edwards told FOX23. “If there were hundreds of dollars in there maybe I could understand. There's not."All they have is a smiling Blue Whale that's captured the attention of people from across the world, even this film crew all the way from Hungary and other sightseers still trying to donate to the big blue whale.
But Edwards’s worries thieves will keep coming. "A thief will always be a thief," she said.If you would like to help the Catoosa Arts and Tourism society you can donate surveillance cameras or money towards that to help them keep a better eye on this area. You can donate at this web site: bluewhaleroute66.com