Crime - Sacto 911

No laughing matter: Sacramento Shrine clown car stolen

The stolen Shrine clown car
The stolen Shrine clown car Sacramento Shriners

Sacramento police are searching for the thieving bozo who took the Shrine clown car.

The theft of the six-passenger, retrofitted golf cart is no laughing matter. Police crime scene investigators on Friday were even dusting for fingerprints on a large red fez ripped off and discarded by thieves from atop the clown car – perhaps a first for that CSI investigator.

It has hurt the Shrine organization that somebody would take the clown car, which is packed full of fun-loving clowns during parades and during visits to sick children at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Northern California in Sacramento. Clowns tumble out of the cart to interact with children in their role as zany ambassadors of the fraternal organization.

“What does this person have against clowns and what does this person have against children?” asked Maury Hicks, Shrine facilities manager.

The theft of the electric clown car occurred early Wednesday morning. Thieves broke in to the locked barn at the Ben Ali Shrine Center on Marysville Boulevard and pulled away with the clown car that was stored on its trailer.

The clown car was a colorful vehicle, refurbished and painted by Shriners. The parade vehicle had a clown face on the front – big eyes and a red nose.

Shriners think the cart might be stripped. There’s little chance, the Shrine organization believes, that it was taken by somebody in big floppy shoes and a red wig – just a run-of-the-mill thief who does not care about the happiness the clown conveyance brought to thousands of children.

The clowns will be on foot until the clown car is recovered or replaced, Hicks said.

Call The Bee’s Bill Lindelof, (916) 321-1079.