Police in the small town say the mystery of what happened to Uncle Si was solved when a concerned resident reported spotting Uncle Si sitting on a neighboring front porch. But when police arrived, the scarecrow was gone yet again.
After a search, police found the scattered and burned remains of the straw-stuffed character and arrested and charged a juvenile in the case.
“We discovered after a little investigation that a juvenile had taken it. I made contact with the juvenile who lives a little further away and he admitted to taking it,” said Ball Ground Police Chief Bryon Reeves.
The popular entry in the city’s first scarecrow contest was the work of a group of Ball Ground Elementary School fourth-grade parents.
Reeves said he notified the Ball Ground Elementary School principal when the police found the scarecrow destroyed Friday. The suspect was just a young boy, the police chief said.
“It’s unfortunate that they lost their scarecrow, but maybe … out of his own remorse, he might make them a new one,” Reeves said. “If they learn anything, (it is) that stealing is wrong no matter whose it is; if it’s not yours, don’t take it.”
A reward of $1,000 was offered by the city to anyone who helped lead to the arrest and conviction of the scarecrow thief.
Reeves said that the person who helped police locate the juvenile could get the $1,000 reward if the suspect is convicted in juvenile court, and said the city will make that decision.
The scarecrow went missing from downtown Ball Ground last week, sometime between Wednesday night and early Thursday morning.
Allison Martin was one of moms who worked on the scarecrow with three other fourth-grade moms, and said it took more than 40 hours to make the realistic scarecrow.
Martin said Monday that the parents plan to remake Uncle Si. She said that they forgive the person who did it and they are moving on.
“To begin with, we were kind of upset. The main reason we had done ‘Duck Dynasty’ was because of the background and their beliefs and we truly believe in them, and as a community we have to forgive,” Martin said.
Martin said the fourth-grade moms decided to do a scarecrow theme around “Duck Dynasty” because the show reflects the tight community and Christian values that many in Ball Ground appreciate.
“The kids got to pick what they wanted as their scarecrow, and that’s what they wanted,” Martin said. “It was just so satisfying to hear, ‘Oh my gosh, look at him, look at him!’ And to hear all the kids talking about it. As moms … that’s what you enjoy is hearing excitement from the kids.”