Thieves steal 30 church fundraising lawn flamingos

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NOBLESVILLE, Ind. (Nov. 3, 2015)-- A central Indiana church theater group is forced to find a new funding source after 30 pink lawn flamingos were stolen.

The Christian Youth Theater was "flocking" members of the community to raise money and promote an upcoming show.

The idea is pretty straight forward—you put up $30 to have 30 flamingos put on a lawn of your choosing. To remove the flamingos, it costs the homeowner $15 or an additional $30 to "flock" another home.

It started as a fun way to get people involved but it quickly turned into a crime.

"We've overcome a lot of adversity this year," said Lori Dearing, board president of Christian Youth Theater.

The latest hurdle for Lori Dearing and the CYT comes in the form of 30 stolen yard flamingos. They were taken last week from a front yard in Noblesville.

"They disappeared from the house they were at," said Dearing

The organization relies on fundraisers and donations to support scholarships, performances and rental space.

"We are a not-for-profit organization so all of our funds are going back into what we are doing," said Dearing.

"At one time it was a major part of our business. We had over 500 flamingos at one time," said Donnie Newman, owner of Yard Greetings sign company.

Newman says his company used to rent the pink flamingos to customers, but the birds had a tendency to migrate.

"We stopped carrying them about six years ago because it wasn't profitable anymore with how many of them were being stolen," said Newman.

Dearing thinks mischievous teens might be behind the prank, but there’s still no sign of where those pink flamingos are nesting.

"Theres no harm in stepping up and saying 'I'm sorry,' and returning them," said Dearing.

Along with the stolen flamingos,the CYT has been through no shortage of set-backs this year. The group was scheduled to perform at Westfield High School just a few weeks after the stage collapse.

Also, the roof collapsed on a different location that CYT commonly uses for productions.