Farm Animals Used as Decoys to Steal Sculptures and Also Items from Betty Chinn's Booth to Benefit Homeless



A thief or thieves cleverly decoyed security guards from their posts at the Humboldt Made Fair in the early hours of Saturday morning by letting several farm animals (a cow and two goats) out of their pens, speculates executive director of the fair, Cindy Bedingfield.  Two wood sculptures by artist Jessie Groeschen were taken as well as items from the booth Groeschen called “our beloved Betty Chinn’s Mexican Kitchen.”

Groeschen’s sculptures were over 6 foot tall and although she had put away smaller items like tools she had felt safe leaving these large art objects on the site as there are security guards as well as a gate.

In the early hours of Saturday morning, security was notified that animals were loose near the barn. Corralling the animals and returning them to where they belonged took time. Speculation is that Groeschen and Chinn’s food booth  must have been stolen from then as they are near each other and rest of the time the fair is well guarded. Chinn has been recognized by President Obama for her work with the homeless.



Today, Sunday, Humboldt Co. Sheriff’s were at the fair to talk with Chin and Groeschen.  Groeschen, who took these photos says that Chin says that her group puts notes on all their stuff at night saying, “please don’t take our stuff we are just a charity.” Luckily Chin’s booth lost little–just tinfoil and beans says Bedingfield but Groeschen’s loss is much more substantial. The sculptures are valued at $1500 altogether.

Anyone with information for the Sheriffs Office regarding this case or related criminal activity is encouraged to call the Sheriffs Office at 707-445-7251 or the Sheriffs Office Crime Tip line at 707-268-2539.


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