By Tim Binnall
Authorities in Arizona are asking the public for help in locating an iconic rock that was somehow stolen earlier this month despite weighing a whopping one ton. According to a press release from the Prescott National Forest, the enormous and rather unique-looking black boulder was something of landmark at the site to the point that local residents had taken to calling it 'Wizard Rock.' Situated on the side of a road, the stone was so well known that visitors to the forest often stopped to have their picture taken with the natural tourist attraction.
But the selfies stopped being snapped around two weeks ago when what is presumed to be a group of ne'er-do-wells stole the giant boulder from the site. How, exactly, they managed to make off with the rock is a mystery, but one forestry official speculated to a local TV station that they likely needed some kind of heavy machinery in order to pull off the brazen heist. The presence of such equipment likely did not raise concerns among anyone who might have witnessed the caper, since it probably appeared to observers to be an authorized and professional operation being done at the behest of the department.
Strangely enough, the incident is the second such instance of someone using heavy machinery to steal a sizeable boulder from the forest, although it is uncertain if the two cases are related. Should the individuals behind the theft of Wizard Rock be caught, they face a possible $5,000 fine as well as six months in jail if convicted of removing minerals from a national forest without a permit. Considering the work required to remove the boulder in the first place and the attention surrounding the theft, it's doubtful that the miscreants who stole the sizeable stone will attempt to return it to its original location, though perhaps leave it somewhere nearby in order to rid themselves of the rock that very well may be haunting them by now.