A life-sized stuffed Naval Academy mascot who's stood atop its owner's vehicles before many a football game, was stolen from a car parked at the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis during Saturday's Navy-Indiana matchup.
"It's almost like losing a pet," said owner Ronald Carlberg, Naval Academy Class of 1961 and a retired Air Force colonel. Carlberg, 73, recalled that his wife and daughter bought the white goat — dubbed 'Fearless' — several years ago, when it was part of a department store sweater sale display. The goat has since become the unofficial symbol of his class.
Taken with Fearless was an item of sentimental value to Carlberg and his wife. The mascot was wearing the blue Navy scarf that Carlberg gave his wife in 1957, when they were dating, he said.
Carlberg, of Alexandria, Va., reported the theft to Annapolis police and is considering offering a reward for the safe return of Fearless, named by a '61 classmate of Carlberg. The mascot is worth an estimated $500 to $600, he said. At games, parents brought their children to pet Fearless, aka BFG or Big Fearless Goat, as the large stuffed animal atop the car could be seen throughout the parking lot, Carlberg said.
Carlberg said he put Fearless in the back of his Jeep after tailgating, and locked the vehicle's doors. But when he returned from the game around 7 p.m., Fearless and his scarf were gone, and only the billy goat's blue Navy blanket remained, Carlberg said. He'd forgotten to roll up the passenger-side window, he said.