Fursuit theft in San Francisco leads to a lion hunt.

by Patch O'Furr

Meet Clumzy Lion from Toronto. He was one of 5,138 furries who came to Biggest Little Fur Con in Reno on June 1-4, 2017. His trip included a night in San Francisco’s popular Fisherman’s Wharf area before flying home.  That’s where he lost his head.  Clumzy’s car was broken into, and they even took his passport so he couldn’t fly.  Being robbed and stuck is much worse than just a sad feline.

Remember a similar fursuit theft that made local news by SFist and Broke-Ass Stuart? More about that below. They’re linked in case they can help.

(Update: thanks to @SFist for sharing the story!)

Clumzy’s plight spread through the grapevine of the SF Bay Area Furs. Zarafa, a purple giraffe and beloved member, took charge of helping.  He told me the story hit him like PTSD, because he was a former victim too.

In January 2016, Zarafa’s giraffe suit disappeared out of his car after Frolic furry dance in SOMA.  The next day, party organizer Neonbunny personally flyered the neighborhood.  A homeless person saw the giraffe abandoned in an alley, and a flyer made the connection to get it home.  Neonbunny’s fast, determined footwork saved the day. (Thanks also to SFist, Broke-Ass Stuart, and furries around the world for moral support. Zarafa says people still come up to him at cons to say they’re happy about it.)

The story brought hope for Clumzy.  Meanwhile, the Canadian Consulate accommodated his other bags and helped him to start getting a new passport.  Zarafa took him in as a house guest for the night.  On Twitter, he was advised to come to the Berkeley Furmeet at Au Coquelet Cafe, where dozens of Bay Area Furries gather on every first Tuesday.  There he was offered hugs, rides, and a flyer by Lilly, and I offered to spread the story.

The next day brought some good luck. The passport was found on the ground near Ghirardelli Square.  It was a clue that connected the theft and the find to a small area.  But searching and flyering was fruitless.  Clumzy was free to fly home, but with a big loss.

The search continues.  Please share, and if the fursuit turns up, we’ll get it home for another happy ending.

Zarafa was upset to see history repeat. Keeping a Pelican case in a car appears to make special temptation – thieves think a big case means it’s full of gold, instead of a custom-tailored costume with priceless personal value. He compared the situation to New York City in the 1970’s, when people couldn’t leave their cars closed. They would leave the windows open and take the radios out.

From the NY Times:

Recent data from the F.B.I. show that San Francisco has the highest per-capita property crime rate of the nation’s top 50 cities. About half the cases here are thefts from vehicles, smash-and-grabs that scatter glittering broken glass onto the sidewalks.

It’s a hot discussion in groups for night life. Some venues like DNA Lounge give extra attention to have their security patrol the street.  Cyclists are hard hit, and the SFPD has a twitter channel just to help with bike theft.  People are even having their grandma’s ashes stolen. What’s the solution? Whatever it is, you can’t avoid problems all the time. For times like this, it’s good to have a community that steps up for one of their own.

(Update: Felix The Fox also lost luggage to look for.)

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