The Lorax‘ movie has brought some well-deserved attention to the late Dr. Seuss‘ furry orange tree protector.

But not all of this attention has been of a positive nature. In fact, some heartless thieves have stolen a 300-pound statue of the Lorax from Theodor Seuss Geisel’s San Diego estate where his 90-year-old widow, Audrey Geisel, still resides. 

The statue was one of two created by Geisel’s stepdaughter Lark Grey Dimond-Cates, with the other being part of the Dr. Seuss National Memorial Sculpture garden in Springfield, MA.

I want very badly to get our little Lorax back home where he belongs,” Dimond-Cates said. “Wherever he is, he’s scared, lonely and hungry. He’s not just a hunk of metal to us. He was a family pet.”

Footprints at the scene suggest that the statue was dragged away and then lifted over a fence. If the Lorax was taken by pranksters, they may have bitten off more than they can chew. Since the sculpture is valued at $10,000, whoever took it will be facing between six months and three years in jail.

However, the estate’s property manager hopes it doesn’t come to that.

“Give me a call. I’ll come and get it. I won’t press charges,’ he plead to the thieves. “But if we find it, we will press charges.”

Check out a local news report on the incident below.

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