RICHMOND, Va. – Just after the stroke of midnight Tuesday morning, surveillance video captured a thief’s bumbling dash along the dimly lit 100 block of Marshall Street.
It doesn't matter if the suspect was Cinderella or Ichabod -- probably not with those nice, new skate shoes seen in the footage -- Jackson Ward business owner Jason Lefton wants to know who stole his laser-etched pumpkin.
Maybe it was a crime of opportunity, a schoolboy prank, or a frat dare; the reason remains a Big Secret -- incidentally the name of Lefton’s shop.
Lefton runs a business where artists specialize in lasers to make stuff out of wood, paper, acrylic, fabric, glass and other material.
"This is a pumpkin that we did,” Lefton demonstrated the craft. “So there is prep time that goes into it, preparing the file, making sure the art is right."
There is a sense of violation, Lefton affirmed, though he doesn’t feel like he should get the police involved. He’s more taken back by the not-so-smooth criminal.
"We were all laughing pretty hard, thinking, man, this guy, is a doofus,” he said. "Apparently the guy runs across the street to grab the pumpkin, when he does, it rips the stem off.”
“And then he drops it,” Lefton added. “Then he goes to pick it up again and he drops it again."
Then thief hops into a waiting stagecoach (truck) and they ride off with the pumpkin.
Now Lefton's finely crafted handiwork is gone and he is left wondering why.
"Either the guy was drunk, or was part of a stunt, or just uh, maybe, forgot to go to the pumpkin patch and needed to get his son a pumpkin,” he laughed.
Not wanting police involved, Lefton turned to social media for tips, with a sweet reward.
"We put it on our business Facebook page, with a caption contest. So, if you win the caption contest, we will laser your very own pumpkin, and a laser pumpkin for the non-profit of your choice."