People’s fascination with dinosaurs, coupled with insufficient security can sometimes lead to a temptation too great to pass up.
Reprinted from Canberra Times, A Protoceratops could be roaming the streets of Canberra. Don’t panic – Jurrasic World hasn’t sprung to life in the capital. But a model dinosaur display promoting the blockbuster film has been stolen from Hoyts Belconnen. The creature, which is owned by the National Dinosaur Museum, was stolen from the cinema on Tuesday night. Museum education manager Phil Hore said a movie-goer leaving the late-night session snuck into the museum’s cordoned-off display and took the Protoceratops model, worth almost $1000. The 1.8 metre long, life-sized model dinosaur was nestled beside a large hanging dinosaur head and the cast of a mosasaur fossil, the large water dinosaur that features heaviliy in the film.
Mr Hore said the cinema’s security cameras had captured clear footage of the theft, which had been handed to police. He said the theft was disappointing and wasn’t the musuem’s first. “We are really trying hard to create something special for the Canberra region – things like this are not helping,” Mr Hore said. “We’re a non-government funded place so, anything like this is a hit for us. “Previously, one of [the dinosaurs] was smashed beyond repair. I don’t understand the deliberate destruction – what’s the point?”
Last November a fibreglass Deinonychus dinosaur was stolen from the musuem in Gold Creek and vandalised. In March of 2013, a fiberglass Utahraptor statue was stolen as part of a birthday prank, and in November of the same year vandals caused about $2500 damage when they pushed a parasaurolophus dinosaur statue against nearby rocks in a late night incident. In the meantime, the musuem was replacing the missing Protoceratops with a six-foot long dinosaur bone, Mr Hore said. He urged anyone with information about the missing dinosaur to contact Belconnen Police Station on 6256 7777.