Anderson police are investigating a crime most fowl.
They have received reports of “duck-napping” at Chris Taylor Memorial Park.
When the weather is nice, it is common to see families with young children at the park near the Civic Center of Anderson, gathered around the pond and feeding the ducks. Anderson County officials even installed coin-operated feeders where residents can purchase a handful of duck-approved food for a quarter a pop.
Marie Shiflet of Anderson was at the park with her young children Sunday when she saw something that ruffled her feathers.
“I saw these guys just walk up to the pond and take some of the baby ducks and put them in their vehicles,” she said. “I couldn’t believe it. My 1-year-old son, Carson, he loves the ducks. That’s why we go. Who wants to steal baby ducks?”
Shiflet said she thinks at least three ducks stolen from the pond.
“As soon as one person took a duck, other people were trying to take them, too,” Shiftlet said. “And I was like: ‘What is this, National Take A Duck Day?’”
Shiflet was able to provide officers license plates’ numbers of two vehicles involved in the theft.
Anderson County, which maintains the park and pond, also filed a police report.
“We aren’t going to duck our responsibility to find out who is behind this,” County Administrator Rusty Burns said.
Lt. Mike Aikens of the Anderson Police Department said officers were able track down one of the ducklings Monday. The baby duck was found in a bathtub at an Anderson apartment complex.
“We understand that a little girl who is about 5 years old told her daddy that she thought the duck was sick and she wanted to take it home,” Aikens said.
The duck was removed from the tub and reunited with its mother at the park, Aikens said.
“She was happy to see it, came right up and got it back,” he said.
Aikens said officers believe that a 16-year-old boy may have also taken some of the ducks. According to an incident report, the theft is considered larceny and police valued the ducks at $100 each.
“These two families don’t know each other,” Aikens said. “We have spoken to the boy’s parents and we hope to find some more of the ducks in the next few days.”
Glenn Brill, who helps oversee the park for the county, sees the humor in the incident but also isn’t taking it lightly.
“Those ducks are there for everyone to enjoy,” he said. “They aren’t toys. They live there and we want them to stay there.”