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Armless 'Hot dog Man' statue case solved

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (UPI) -- Police in Council Bluffs, Iowa, say the mystery of where the armless "Hot dog Man" statue came from has been solved -- its owner has claimed it.

The 6-foot-tall cartoon-like hot dog statue was found Sept. 2 sans arms, The Daily Nonpareil in Council Bluffs reported Thursday. Despite tips from across the country and even around the world, where it came from puzzled police, Capt. Terry LeMaster says, until Curtis Wennhold came forward to claim it.

"[Wennhold] has the arms; to me, that's enough proof that it is his," LeMaster told the newspaper. We'll be glad to give it back to him.

Wennhold told authorities he found the 400-pound statute in California and brought it back with him to Iowa, only to have it stolen from his yard by teenagers who broke off its arms while loading it into a vehicle. Only the culprits apparently were "creeped out" by the statue's leering grin and put it out on a street corner where a citizen spotted and called police, thinking it was a man in a costume stalking children at the bus stop, LeMaster said.

Police have identified the teens involved but so far no one is pressing charges.

"I'm just glad the statue is going to be claimed," LeMaster said. Then we'll go from there.

Copyright 2011 by United Press International

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