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Theft leaves fence quiet, empty

Until last Saturday morning, Mona and Gary Turner had a fence that you could not only see, but hear.

Well known in their Beverly Beach neighborhood for the large collection of wind-driven wooden toys mounted on their fence, the couple woke up Saturday to quiet. It was too quiet.

Missing was the gentle clacking of hand-carved wood figurines, propellers and comical animals spinning and moving in the wind. Upon looking outside toward the street, the couple found that 24 of the 25 "wind toys" that were safely mounted on their split-rail fence when they went to bed eight hours earlier were gone. And it wasn't the wind that took them.

Mona Turner said this week she was upset to discover that someone could steal something so personal from her home. All but one of the wind toys were created by her husband, who invents, carves and paints them as a hobby. Though he can and will make more, Turner said losing the toys was to see something disappear that had been part of their lives since they moved to their home in 1991.

"It's more sentimental to me than him," she said.

On Monday, only a green wooden duck with spinning "wings" was left on the fence. Where the other toys had been were only the bare metal pins on which they rotated.

Turner doesn't hold out much hope of getting the toys back. She said an Island County Sheriff's deputy who investigated the theft said the toys might be headed to an off-island craft show to be sold. Russ Lindner, chief of investigations for the sheriff's office, said Monday that thefts like this are typically committed by juveniles.

Still, the theft had Turner wondering why anyone would target the wind toys. Many of them were more than a decade old and weatherbeaten; she'd never dreamed anyone would take them in that condition.

"They looked well worn," she said.

At this point, Turner said she is hoping whomever took the wind toys will decide that they were not worth the effort to steal and return them, because it's really much too silent out by the fence these days.

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