Sep 22, 2009 11:58 AM by Jamie Smith
There is a puzzling caper going on in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. Crime rates there are down, except at one particular house where a thief has visited every day for four months.
"Steamboat is a great community," says resident Sally Houk. And a town well known for one thing. "It is a big ski town."
But ask Steamboat resident Tom Houk and he'll tell you. "My love is golf." Which is a fact not lost on his wife Sally. "Tom is definitely a fanatic. He is obsessed with golf."
So much so that rather than leave the game at the course, Tom built a green in his front yard. "And it's been his baby all along, is the putting green," Sally observes.
Every evening this Summer Tom would practice and every night, he'd just leave his golf balls on the green until they noticed that they were getting swiped.
But by who? "I just kind of scratched my head and thought my kids or their buddies had taken the balls or something like that," says Tom.
The number of golfballs were starting to add up. They estimated that they had gone through 70 or 80 golf balls, and it was time to get to the bottom of this. So one night they watched. "I was just amazed. I was laughing so hard," Sally says now. The thief was a hairless fox. "We just couldn't believe it and we thought he's just snatching one," Tom adds. Which a few minutes later turned into two.
Tom now knows what happened, but the one big question left is "What does one fox do with 80 golf balls? Turns out in this ski town, Tom Houk isn't the only one in love with golf. The Colorado Division of Wildlife says foxes are very smart and playful. Their best guess is the fox is simply carrying them away and playing with them.
On the other hand, if the fox opens a driving range in Steamboat next Spring we'll know he had another plan.