VENTURA (CBSLA.com) — Sham Hock, the giant inflatable green pig that had been a constant presence at the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Ventura, is missing.
No blarney here. Officials believe Sham Hock was stolen. Who took Sham Hock? Police are sty-mied.
Authorities are offering a $100 reward for the safe return of Sham Hock.
It’s a story that is Only On 9.
Parade organizers told KCAL9’s Peter Daut that Sham Hock was stolen from right outside a Ventura storage facility.
For 25 years, the pig has hogged the parade limelight.
“It’s 20 feet long, it’s 12 feet high, and it came out as such a positive, friendly, happy pig,” says Tim O’Neill, parade organizer and announcer.
O’Neill still has the original design for Sham Hock, whom he helped to create in 1990 for $2,500.
So, imagine his disappointment after learning Sham Hock may have been stolen by a ham-burglar.
“It’s hard to hide a big pig like this. Even if it’s not inflated,” O’Neill says.
Parade volunteers were on their way to pick up the pig Monday at the Move Green storage facility. Employees left it outside near the entrance and out of view of security cameras. Moments later, Sham Hock was more like Scram Hock.
“We want him back,” organizer and parade Chairman Tim Monahan says.
This isn’t the first time Sham Hock was stolen before the parade.
In the earlier theft, he was returned just before the parade.
Monahan’s now hoping this is another joke.
“I’m sure that Sham Hock will be there,” Monahan said.