Thieves nab trailer full of puppets

July 14, 2010 5:04:27 PM PDT
From Jesus and Noah to President Obama, an entire trailer full of puppets is gone. Now a Baytown man's mission of spreading smiles among children is at a standstill.

The impact is huge; hundreds of kids look forward to these puppets every year, but all that came to a halt on Sunday when Anthony Lazo's truck and trailer were stolen from a restaurant on Interstate 45 and Winkler.

The damage the thieves did breaking into Lazo's Ford truck was bad enough.

"The handle is broken completely," Lazo said. "It turns on by itself without the key."

But, for Lazo, it is nothing compared to what was done to his business and those who rely on his work.

"It was kind of devastating, not only to us, not only to my family, but to the people who know us, the people who have seen our shows," he said.

Lazo runs Puppets in Action, a traveling puppet show and live action concert he began 15 years ago.

"Well, this is the type of puppet we have," he said.

Based in Christianity, his characters are used to teach children in a fun way, often brightening the spirits of those less fortunate.

"I'm the chicken; I would go out there and dance even though you're sweating and everything," said Lazo's 13-year-old son, Juan Carlos Lazo. "But you feel, in the end, you feel it's worth every penny."

That sense of joy is now on hold because although Lazo was able to recover his truck, the trailer that was attached is still missing. Gone with it are more than 40 unique and expensive puppets along with 26 mascot costumes.

"Right now, they're missing in action, but we want them back, Puppets in Action," he said.

Time is of the essence, Lazo already has shows scheduled through December. He dreads ever having to go on without his stars.

"Fifteen years of getting this show right for the community and so many people know what we do and for it to not be at 100 percent, it's going to be tough," he said.

Aside from the puppets, several laptop computers and a stage were also stolen. Lazo says he's willing to do without the trailer, if he could get the other stuff back. A reward is even being offered.


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