Two More Park Sharks Taken But Recovered; Auction Ends Friday

By: Tim Wood

This shark, painted by Tilda Bystrom and sponsored by the Cape Cod Five Bank, was stolen over the weekend but recovered nearby. A second shark was also stolen from the lawn of the Eldredge Library and recovered, but a third taken a few weeks ago remains missing. FILE PHOTO

CHATHAM – The shark sculptures on the lawn of the Eldredge Public Library have once again proven too tempting; two were stolen earlier this week, but unlike one taken a few weeks ago, both were recovered.

Sharks sponsored by Cape Cod Five and Ducks in the Window were taken down sometime during the night on Sunday or early Monday morning, according to Janice Rogers, who oversees the Sharks in the Park project for the Chatham Merchants Association. The Cape Cod Five shark, painted by artist Tilda Bystrom, was found at a home on nearby Library Lane. The residents of the house called the police when they heard a commotion and a neighbor's dog began barking around 3 a.m., she said.

Rogers said the Ducks in the Windows shop received a voicemail from someone at Chatham Bars Inn saying the store's shark was under a vehicle at the Shore Road inn. Police recovered the shark.

In late July Chatham Real Estate's shark was taken from the library lawn and has yet to be recovered. Rogers said she is awaiting results of a review of the security video from the adjacent Cape Cod Five bank for clues to that theft, adding any usable images of the culprit will be released to the media.

Meanwhile, the artist who created that shark, Heather Labbe, came to Chatham from her home in Maine last week and painted a new shark for Chatham Real Estate.

“We would really like to get the first shark back, and are offering a reward for any information leading to its return,” Rogers wrote in an email. Anyone with information on theft or whereabouts of the Chatham Real Estate shark can contact the police department's anonymous tip line at 508-945-8847.

Rogers said it's “heartbreaking” that a few people can disrupt what is an experience enjoyed by thousands. More than 6,300 artist bio booklets have been distributed at the display, and guest books put out on the weekends show how much people appreciate the Sharks in the Park event.

All of the sharks are being auctioned online to raise money for Chatham Merchant Association programs, including a scholarship, with half of the proceeds going to the artists. The auction closes at noon on Friday, Aug. 19. To bid, go to sharksinthepark.net.