Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Five teens arrested for stealing Bloomingdale's bull as prank

VALRICO — What started as a prank ended with a trip to a juvenile lockup for five teens who admitted to stealing Bloomingdale High's 400-pound bronze bull.

After watching an MTV show about high school pranks, they got the idea to take the bull and hide it until Bloomingdale's football team played Brandon High. The plan: When the players arrived on the field, the bull would be standing on the 50-yard line, Hillsborough County sheriff's spokesman J.D. Callaway said.

The five students, all 16 or 17 years old, attend Brandon and Plant City high schools and Simmons Career Center. Their names are being withheld by the Times because of their ages.

The Sheriff's Office got a tip Wednesday that the bull was at a truck storage yard in Tampa. Someone reported the students to the Sheriff's Office, and the students' parents brought them Thursday to the Juvenile Assessment Center. They said they unbolted the bull from the concrete July 25, loaded it in a pickup truck, covered it with a tarp and took it to property owned by one of the students' relatives.

"They were contrite and apologetic," Callaway said. "All of them said they didn't think it would come to their arrest."

Bloomingdale principal Mark West is glad to have the bull back, but was sorry to hear it was a prank.

Still, he's glad the $8,000 bull wasn't harmed. It was returned to Bloomingdale, but isn't back at its normal spot. Administrators are considering safer locations.

Deputies deal with high school pranks occasionally, mostly at the level of school resource officers, Callaway said. The bull stealing, he added, was more than a prank. The students face a charge of grand theft, which is a felony.

The school district probably won't discipline the students because they were arrested, spokesman Steve Hegarty said.

Deputies believe the students didn't have bad intentions for the statue, which was ordered online by the student government after two years of fundraising. Several of the students and their parents could not be reached Friday for comment.

Bloomingdale teachers talk to the senior class throughout the year about how pranks can be harmful, West said. The MTV show the students watched featured pranks across the country, many of them which resulted in expulsions and criminal charges.

West said he plans to encourage Bloomingdale students not to retaliate.

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

Five teens arrested for stealing Bloomingdale's bull as prank 08/01/08 [Last modified: Tuesday, August 5, 2008 1:54pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Joe Maddon's return must be bittersweet for Rays fans

    Blogs

    If you are a Rays fan, you might have left Tropicana Field a little down on Tuesday night.

  2. [National Hurricane Center]
  3. With successful jewelry line, Durant High alum Carley Ochs enjoys 'incredible ride'

    Business

    BRANDON

    As a child Carley Ochs played dress up, draped in her grandmother's furs.

    Founder Carley Ochs poses for a portrait in her Ford Bronco at the Bourbon & Boweties warehouse in Brandon, Fla. on September 19, 2017. Ochs is a Durant High and Florida State University graduate.
  4. Photo of the Day for September 20, 2017 - Where did Mom go?

    Human Interest

    Today's Photo of the Day comes from Stan Wooldridge of Temple Terrace, FL.

  5. Video: Maddon, in return to Trop, says Rays need new stadium

    The Heater

    Former Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon, now with the Chicago Cubs, speaks about the need to replace Tropicana Field during the first game of a two-game series in St. Petersburg on Sept. 20, 2017.

    Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon (70) watches the action in the second inning of the game between the Chicago Cubs and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017.