3 men charged in theft of giant purple chicken

Published: Saturday, July 6, 2013 at 5:39 p.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, July 6, 2013 at 5:39 p.m.

SAN MATEO — Three men have been charged with the theft of a giant purple chicken statue that resides outside a home east of Palatka.

The men took the 9-foot, 600-pound aluminum chicken from the home Tuesday, Putnam County sheriff's officials said. They hooked it to a Chevrolet truck and dragged it a mile down the road. The owner of the bird told deputies he saw one of the thieves mount the bird and ride it.

The men then unhooked the statue and fled. Detectives located them the next day, sheriff's officials said.

Darrin Luke Edwards, 19, Tyler Lee Jones, 21, and James Joseph Smith, 18, were arrested and confessed to the tomfoolery. Each of them was charged with a count of grand theft, according to a release from the Putnam County Sheriff's Office.

The chicken has been returned to its rightful owner, but suffered a lacerated leg, cracked claw and scarring on its side from the ordeal, its owner said.

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