(WBIR-Knoxville) Knoxville Police said officers are trying to track down whoever stole a Boy Scout troop's parade float early Thursday morning.
Dave Ringley, Assistant Scoutmaster with Troop 13 in North Knoxville, said the 12 boys built the float Tuesday. He was storing it in his front yard until Saturday's Fountain City Christmas Parade.
"The concept and the design was to have the canoe floating on water on the trailer. So the boys had built the ropes underneath it, put two different blue-colored tarps underneath it, they got some LED blue lights to put around it," said Ringley, who added the trailer is worth $2,000.
Ringley said the boys had been planning the float for awhile before working for several hours on Tuesday.
"There would have been two boys in the canoe and then there would have been a couple of boys sitting on the side with fishing poles, looking like they're fishing in the water," Ringley described.
A neighbor saw the float still in Ringley's yard around 3 a.m. Thursday. Ringley woke up just before 6 a.m. to find it gone.
By 11 a.m., a neighbor discovered the red canoe about a mile away, on Davron Lane, in the same neighborhood. It appeared the thief or thieves dumped it before hitting the main roads.
"Whoever stole it was really stealing it for the trailer," said Ringley.
Troop 13 borrowed the trailer from the Fountain City baseball park. He said they will have to replace the trailer if police can't track it down.
"That's a motto of the scouts. If you borrow something, return it equal or better than when you borrowed it."
Ringley lives on a dead-end street with his son and grandson, Steve Sell.
"It just takes a special kind of person to drive up to someone's yard and pull off with their stuff," said Sell. "We had a go-kart stolen here once before that was on a trailer. They actually took it off the trailer, instead of taking the whole trailer."
The neighbor who last saw the float still parked in their front yard said he also saw a green pick-up truck down the street.
"I'm not sure if that's the truck that stole it, but it had a loud, muffled sound," said Andrew Plesek.
Plesek's wife said she heard a vehicle running , with a loud muffler, for several minutes just after Plesek got home. She said it was unusual to hear a running vehicle at that time of the night in their neighborhood.
While police search for the trailer, the Boy Scouts are back to square one. Ringley said they will rebuild in time for Saturday's parade.
"There's a positive to everything," said Ringley. "We're going to have a trailer and we're going to have a canoe and a float. It'll be a little different, but maybe it'll be a little better."
The Knoxville Police Department said this is a good reminder for people to mark their trailers with identifying information, like a drivers license number or phone number. Then, if officers find the stolen trailer, there is proof of ownership.