Oregon State Police (OSP) say two men have been charged with stealing the oversize Lee Corso ESPN “GameDay” mascot head after Saturday’s Oregon vs. Oregon State game in Corvallis, OR. The head, valued at $5,000, was recovered on Monday.
“According to OSP Lieutenant Jeff Lanz, an Oregon State University (OSU) employee called late Monday morning, December 6, saying the mascot head was placed by unknown person(s) near his personal vehicle at his Harrisburg-area residence. It is believed that whoever left the mascot head knew the vehicle’s owner was an OSU employee who has asked to not be identified at this time. The location which is about 27 miles from campus is also withheld pending an ongoing investigation,” read the first announcement from the OSP
A few hours later Senior Trooper Orly Johnson identified August Michael Zane Cuneo, 26, and Alexander Joseph Westberger, 25, as suspects. They have been charged with a Class C felony of Theft in the First Degree, punishable by up to one year in prison and/or a fine of up to $125,000.
“The investigation alleges Cuneo was walking through the Oregon State University (OSU) Memorial Union Quad near the Game Day broadcast location when he took the mascot head, walked away from the area and hid it in some bushes until Westerberg arrived in a car. They placed it in the car and drove to the Eugene area,” said the police statement. After having second thoughts, the two ditched the giant head at the OSU employee’s home where it was found on Monday.
RBR-TVBR observation: Obviously a prank gone terribly wrong. A gag is not funny when it involves theft. The two football fans, identified as former OSU students, will now be haunted by their criminal records.