Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Rustled 400-pound bronze bull found

This 400-pound bronze bull was stolen from the patio area of Bloomingdale High despite being bolted down.

Special to the Times

This 400-pound bronze bull was stolen from the patio area of Bloomingdale High despite being bolted down.

VALRICO — Bloomingdale High School's 400-pound bronze statue of a bull proved to be hard for the thieves to corral.

Something that big and shiny is tough to hide.

The good news is that, after vanishing over the weekend, the raging bull that embodies the spirit of Bloomingdale is back where he belongs.

Of course, the school's mascot has been a target before, said principal Mark West. But that generally involved being coated with spray paint and graffiti, courtesy of students from rival schools.

The snorting bull, so firmly bolted to concrete on the school's patio, has never been stolen. And students usually pull pranks during the school year. So this seemed like something more sinister. Even so, West called the principals at nearby schools.

No bull.

Deputies knew it could just as easily be adults looking to make money from the bronze as mischievous high school students, Sheriff's Office spokesman J.D. Callaway said.

Around 7 p.m. Wednesday, they got a tip, and paid a visit to a semitrailer storage yard at 1922 N 59th St. There, he said, hidden about 25 yards back, deputies spotted the bronze beast.

They called a wrecker, loaded up the bull, and returned it to the school. The criminal investigation is still under way.

There's no way to know at this point if the bull was headed for the last roundup in a furnace. It depends upon who took it, and they don't know, but have some leads, Callaway said.

"Obviously, scrapping metal has become a cash commodity for some people."

Thieves usually steal copper, he said. He hasn't heard of any cases of bronze theft in Hillsborough County. In Largo, however, a 400-pound bronze statue of two kids hoisting an American flag was stolen, and in Clearwater, a bronze plaque was removed from Glenn Oaks Park.

Bloomingdale's bull cost about $8,000. Students spent two years fundraising to buy the custom-made statue, finally placing it on the patio in 2006.

"It's become an important part of our school," West said.

Jessica Vander Velde can be reached at jvandervelde@sptimes.com or (813) 661-2443.

Rustled 400-pound bronze bull found 07/30/08 [Last modified: Thursday, July 31, 2008 3:13pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Rays set to activate Tommy Hunter from DL

    Blogs

    The Rays plan to activate RHP Tommy Hunter from the DL for Thursday's series finale against the Angels.

  2. Reporter says Republican candidate in Montana body-slammed him (w/video)

    Nation

    HELENA, Mont. — Witnesses said the Republican candidate for Montana's sole congressional seat body-slammed a reporter Wednesday, the day before the polls close in the nationally watched special election. Authorities said late Wednesday that Greg Gianforte has been cited for misdemeanor assault over incident with …

    Greg Gianforte, right, receives congratulations from a supporter in Helena, Mont., in March. [Associated Press]
  3. Culpepper falls just short on 'Survivor' finale

    Human Interest

    In the end, Tampa lawyer Brad Culpepper fell just short, and the ex-Tampa Bay Buccaneer lost Survivor: Game Changers and the $1 million prize to Sarah Lacina, a police officer from Iowa.

  4. Families dispute claims that slain Tampa Palms roommates shared neo-Nazi beliefs

    Crime

    TAMPA — Andrew Oneschuk never liked making small talk on the phone, his father said, but the last time the two spoke, something seemed off.

    Andrew Oneschuk and Jeremy Himmelman lived in a Tampa Palms apartment with Devon Arthurs and Brandon Russell. Oneschuk and Himmelman reportedly planned to move out.
  5. Brad Culpepper makes it to final 3 on Survivor, but jury picks Sarah

    The Feed

    UPDATE, WEDNESDAY NIGHT: Tampa's Brad Culpepper make it to the final 3 on Survivor, but jurors chose Sarah as the winner of the $1 million.

    Original report follows:

    "The Tables Have Turned" - Brad Culpepper, Tai Trang and Hali Ford on the fourth episode of SURVIVOR: Game Changers on the CBS Television Network. Photo: Jeffrey Neira/CBS Entertainment