McDonald's balloon is stolen from a Rosedale restaurant Pranksters leave figure in Parkville back yard


Call it a clownnapping, or maybe a peeping Ron.

A fully inflated, three-story-high balloon depiction of fast-food pitchman Ronald McDonald -- stolen from a McDonald's restaurant -- was found early yesterday in the back yard of a Parkville townhouse.

The balloon had been squeezed into the small fenced yard of Kimberly Huskins' home in the 3500 block of Moultree Place -- the clown's back was to the road, and his face appeared to be peeping into a second-floor bedroom window. Pranksters had plugged in a generator to keep it inflated.

AMickey Cucchiella Jr., a nightclub manager, was the first to spot the balloon. He said he was on his way to pick up his wife from her friend's house on Moultree Place about 3:30 a.m. when he spotted the gigantic clown with red hair, huge floppy shoes and a kid-friendly grin. He said he called Baltimore County police, and a dispatcher, laughing, told him, "Don't let him escape."

Eric Roberts, assistant manager of a McDonald's on Kenwood Avenue in Rosedale, said the balloon apparently was stolen from the restaurant roof about 5 a.m. Sunday.

By yesterday afternoon, the $6,000 balloon was back -- deflated for the trip -- and employees were inspecting it for damage. Police reported no arrests in the case, but did identify one suspect.

B6 "It was," said Cpl. Melvin Teal, "the Hamburglar."

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