DES MOINES, Iowa — I’m a dog lover.
So when I heard one was missing in the East Village, I wanted to help.
“Have you guys seen a dog?”
I must have asked that to 25 people.
“Have either of you seen a dog? A white dog?”
No one spoke up. But then, it’s not a real dog.
“I think it’s a bike rack,” a woman said.
A bike rack?
“Yes, I think it’s actually a bike rack,” she said.
She’s right. It’s an iron, dog-shaped bike rack from the corner of East 5th and Locust. Whoops.
But it IS missing. It was here Thursday morning, and now it’s gone.
“Have you seen this ‘dog’?” I ask, now armed with some pictures. “Take a good look.”
“I guess someone took it,” a bearded guy tells me. “That’s what I’m hearing.”
Who would take something like this?
My eyes turn to a man with a big truck.
“Do you mind opening this?” I ask him. “I’d like to look in here.”
There’s dog FOOD inside, but no dog BIKE RACK.
The artsy-fartsy furniture would seem to be a prime suspect, too.
“Do you know what happened to him?” I ask the woman inside.
She doesn’t. But then, another break.
“I think the bank might have been involved,” another woman tells me.
Iowa State Bank is a block away. They have their own fancy bike rack — maybe they were jealous?
“Did you steal the dog?” I ask president David Ringgenberg.
“Um… Did the bank steal the dog?” he stammers. “The bank did not steal the dog. You know we’re very…very cautious about security.”
This guy knows something and when I put the squeeze on him, he says city workers took it and he has the pictures to prove it!
“I’m not saying that the city stole the dog,” he hems and haws, “but the city workers did take the dog away.”
I go after some city workers.
“You’ve seen the dog?” I ask them.
“It used to be here,” one says. “I don’t know what happened to him.”
Yeah, right. Turns out, someone got VIDEO of the heist; and knows where the truck went! Some non-descript place over on North 2nd.
Busted. I walk into the place.
“Hello! I’m looking for this dog,” I tell the guy inside the door.
“He’s right over here,” he admits, looking at me oddly.
“Why do you have him?” I ask.
“Well, the city of Des Moines and Iowa State Bank decided it was time to freshen him up,” he answers, all too calmly.
Whoops again. Turns out, this “dog” needs some serious grooming.
“His neck was bent,” Tony Moro says. “And he has a little crack there that we’ll have to repair before we can powder coat him. But we’ve got to fix him up and make him as good as new.”
He’ll be done here on Monday, then the city will put him back and Iowa State Bank will pay the bill. No crime here…just cooperative effort to give this guy a new leash on life.