Instagram Photo Leads Rochester Police to Lost, Hockey-Playing Sheep
After a photo of the statue known as "Sheep Shot" was posted on the Instagram photo-sharing site, Rochester Police made the discovery.
A fiberglass hockey-playing sheep, stolen from a public art display in downtown Rochester two months ago, has been found.
The sheep is missing his ears, one black skate and his wire-rimmed glasses — a nod to the character in the movie Slap Shot that the sheep was designed to depict.
Police say a 25-year-old Oxford Township man has confessed to the theft and possible charges against him are pending.
In the meantime, they are crediting an Instagram user with tipping them off to the missing sheep's whereabouts.
Here's how it happened, according to Rochester Police Chief Steve Schettenhelm.
The sheep was stolen from atop its wooden stand near the corner of Main and Second streets the night of May 25. It had been on display for about a week, part of the Ewe Revue 2, a display of two dozen fiberglass movie-themed sheep around town.
The sheep, decorated to look like a hockey player, was called "Steve Hanson from Sheep Shot."
About three weeks ago, Schettenhelm received a tip that the missing sheep may be at a home in Rochester Hills.
"We were directed to an online photo that was taken with a possible subject holding the sheep," Schettenhelm said.
The tipster also contacted Rochester Patch and shared the photo that was shared with police. It was posted on Instagram, the photo-sharing site. It showed the sheep in a grassy yard with the caption "Just stole a sheep."
The sheep comes home
Schettenhelm's department investigated and, based on other photos that were found, learned of a possible narcotic connection.
"We turned this information over to the Rochester Police officer assigned to the Oakland County Narcotics Enforcement Team. He was able to follow up on this information which lead to the recovery of the sheep in Rochester Hills," he said.
Sheep Shot is valued at $2,000; there is about $500 in damage to the sheep that needs to be repaired before it can be on display again.
The investigation is wrapping up and information will be turned over to the Oakland County Prosecutor's office for possible charges, Schettenhelm said.