STORY UPDATE: Rooster statue back home after disappearing from Castro Valley driveway
All that's left in rancher David MacPhearson's driveway along Crow Canyon Road is a pile of dirt and stakes with tiny tin chickens attached to the top -- a far cry from what used to stand tall and proud near their mailbox.
Who would take this Castro Valley man’s giant chicken 🐓 statue?Neighbors are crying “fowl” 😮! (Hoo Boy. Get ready for more of my bad puns 4:55/6pm!) 🐔 pic.twitter.com/LcK79pkDYa— Dion Lim (@DionLimTV) June 24, 2019
"It's a very lifelike rooster, it's approximately 8 feet in height, several feet round and it's a multitude of colors, red, yellow, green and blue. It definitely stands out," MacPhearson said.
The metal rooster statue, playfully nicknamed and known to neighbors as "Big Red," had become somewhat of a celebrity in this rural part of Castro Valley and to those driving into San Ramon.
MacPhearson, who is a self-proclaimed chicken-lover with 30 of the real thing, says he acquired Big Red after guests and visitors had difficulty finding his driveway.
"It's hard for individuals to find our location... it's such a rural area. For family events or birthday parties, it was hard to find our location....as well as deliveries from FedEx and UPS," he said. "We kind of wanted to add something to the front to jazz it up and it would be a landmark to stand out."
Since fall of 2017, MacPhearson, his wife and kids have witnessed hundreds of people stop to admire and take photos with Big Red. Admirers of the large bird also leave notes of appreciation.
"I just have to put a smile on my face each time I get to see this wonderful work of art," reads MacPhearson from a photo of a card left in his mailbox from a rooster fan.
Just this past Saturday morning, his wife noticed some "fowl" play.
"Upset and frustrated, not just for our sake but I think there are a lot of people who get something out of it."
Their beloved Big Red...was GONE.
Kathi Finley, a Castro Valley resident and fan of the big bird, came to visit MacPhearson after hearing the news of Big Red's disappearance.
"Maybe it's just kids drinking one night and just got crazy and said oh it would be fun to steal Big Red!"
Hundreds have shared the news on the Castro Valley News Facebook page and fans of the XL bird are "hatching a plan" to get him back.
Kathi beams, "I'm confident, David, we are going to get him back! Now the word is really going to get out and I am a vigilante!"
MacPhearson has this message for whoever ruffled his feathers.
"Be honest, tell the truth and don't take things that don't belong to you!"
If you know anything about this missing bird, please contact the Alameda County Sheriff's Office. No matter what happens in the end, if Big Red returns or not, MacPhearson and his family plan to make a comeback with an even bigger, improved Big Red 2.0.