- Associated Press - Wednesday, February 4, 2015

TOWN OF VERNON, Wis. (AP) - The Vernon Fire Department is searching for a 6-foot-tall Smokey Bear cutout that disappeared over the weekend.

Authorities say the reflective aluminum bear was stolen from the Town of Vernon Fire Station No. 2 early Sunday morning while firefighters were at the scene of an accident. Police say someone cut Smokey Bear out of the fire prevention sign posted outside of the station.

Vernon Fire Lt. Jason Kubiszewski says part-time firefighters built two signs worth about $1,000 last year and installed them in front of both fire stations to alert residents of fire danger.

The fire department is asking residents to keep an eye out for Smokey Bear. The department also is offering a reward for any information that leads to an arrest and the recovery of the sign.

The Waukesha County Sheriff’s Department is investigating the theft.

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