Man holds sign for stealing chicken statue

PALATKA, Fla. – Part of the punishment for at least two of three men who pleaded no contest to stealing a 9-foot tall chicken statue from a San Mateo home was that they carry a sign that reads, "I stole the purple chicken."

According to the Putnam County Sheriff's Office, a deputy was called to the home on East State Road 100 one morning last month when the homeowner witnessed his cast aluminum purple chicken weighing about 600 pounds being dragged behind a Chevrolet truck.

The homeowner told deputies he saw a man mount the chicken and was riding it down the roadway. The truck and the chicken traveled about one mile, until deputies said they reached the end of the road and their joyride came to a halt.

At that time, deputies said one of the men on the truck unhooked the chicken and drove away.

The trio were found and arrested the next day.

Tyler Jones (pictured above in middle), 21, pleaded no contest to grand theft, was placed in pretrial diversion, ordered to pay $2,300 restitution to the owner of the chicken, and perform 50 hours community service. He was seen holding the sign Thursday.

James Smith (pictured on right), 18, also pleaded no contest and was ordered to carry a sign two hours a day.

Darrin Edwards (pictured on left), 19, has entered a no contest plea, but it has not yet been finalized.