Fox stealing golf balls
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, Colo. -- 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 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...
"We figured out they're 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.
Day after day.
And morning after morning.
"Then they started coming back. Every morning the place would be cleaned out," adds Tom.
Until the numbers were starting to add up.
"So we've probably 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.
"He has a mission. He's going somewhere and taking them and returning quickly."
And well, you start to get the picture where this is going.
"There's nothing on the green in the morning."
No golf balls, but one big question. What does one fox do with 80 golf balls?
"I think he's thinking they're going to hatch and he's just giving them a little time," is Tom's guess.
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.
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