Willie, a sculpture worth more than $6,000, was kidnapped on Friday. /GARDEN CITY DDA
GARDEN CITY, Mich. (DETROIT FREE PRESS)-- Garden City police are on the hunt for a pig bandit who made off with a $6,000-plus swine named Willie.
Willie's no real bacon-maker, though.
He's a plump, shiny sculpture on lease to the Garden City Downtown Development Authority for two years. According to the DDA, Willie -- a.k.a. "Cochon Rouge" by artist Sophie Marie -- was swiped in broad daylight on Friday from the Ford and Middlebelt area.
Willie, who often is dressed in different clothes, even has his own Facebook page. On Friday, an entry read: "Help I was kidnapped!"
Loyal fans chimed in. Comments ranged from "Oh no! Not Willy!" and "We must find Willy!" to "Did someone really steal the (expletive) pig?"
According to Willie's Facebook page, he is one of 20 pieces of art the DDA commissioned for two years at a cost of $20,000.
Among the awards Willie boasts of on Facebook: the talk of the town. Best dressed. Party animal.
The thieves may have been playing a prank, but the DDA isn't laughing.
"While the culprits may have originally intended this action as a joke, the value of the artwork lessens the funny factor considerably," the DDA said in a statement released Monday.
The DDA noted the thieves could be prosecuted, but the agency just wants the pig back.
Its philosophy right now is simple: "Return the pig, no questions asked."
Anyone who has information that could lead to Willie's return is asked to contact Garden City police at 734-793-1700.