RALEIGH, N.C. — Someone has stolen the plaque from the statue honoring one of North Carolina's most beloved sons.
Raleigh police say the rectangular plaque and its concrete setting disappeared between 2 p.m. April 28 and noon Monday. That is when Raleigh Parks and Recreation workers noticed it missing from the life-size tribute to "The Andy Griffith Show" in Pullen Park.
Raleigh police say after removing the marker from the ground in front of the statue of Andy and Opie Taylor, the person or persons responsible for the theft filled the hole with dirt and used mulch to conceal the crime.
Andy Griffith, Gov. Mike Easley and other officials unveiled the statue to a crowd of hundreds on Oct. 28.
At the ceremony, Griffth encouraged everyone to take time to read the plaque at the base of the statue: "The Andy Griffith Show. A simpler time, a sweeter place, a lesson, a laugh, a father and a son."
"It pretty well sums up what our show was and is," Griffith said. Anyone with information that might be helpful to investigators is asked to call the Raleigh Police Departments Detective Division at (919) 890-3555.
The artwork is on permanent loan to the city from cable network TV Land.