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Stolen dinosaur recovered, suspects arrested

"Anatotitan C.Knight" by Charles R. Knight. - Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons -

God creates dinosaurs, God destroys dinosaurs, God creates man, man steals dinosaur.

A baby dinosaur replica that had been stolen was recovered yesterday, with two suspects arrested by police. The dinosaur, an Edmontosaurus, was stolen on Monday from the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, with the theft caught on surveillance camera.

The suspects, Logan Todd Ritchey, 21, and Alyssa Ann Lavacca, 21, turned themselves in yesterday morning. No word on whether Fred and Barney were involved in the caper. The dinosaur statue, which stands at just over a foot in length, was left in a bag near the museum. The statue is valued at around $10,000.

The thieves were so preoccupied with whether or not they could steal the dinosaur, they didn’t stop to consider if they should. They are also believed to be responsible for similar thefts at the nearby Museum of History. Inventory missing from that museum included a prop cabbage head, a prop corn cob and prop doilies, and a real medicine bottle, said Jackson Marshall, associate director of the history museum.

The Edmontosaurus was a genus of very large herbivores, commonly known as duck-billed dinosaurs. It lived between 73 million and 66 million years ago. It was up to 39 feet long and weighed over four tons. Luckily for the thieves, this one wasn’t to scale, nor was it alive.

"My son is an intelligent and inquisitive guy and is human like all us," Ken Ritchey, father of Logan Ritchey, said in an interview with the local ABC affiliate. "He made a mistake. I have no idea what he was thinking, but he's going to have to learn from this."

Though the pair was caught walking with dinosaurs, it is no laughing matter for local Police Chief Glen Allen. "I doubt these two individuals realized the seriousness of tampering with artifacts and exhibits in a public museum," he said.

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