Report: Neighbor steals skeleton over offensive gesture
CUYAMUNGUE, N.M. (AP) — A New Mexico woman is facing a larceny charge after authorities say she stole a neighbor’s anatomical skeleton model that allegedly was making an offensive gesture toward her.
Court documents filed Monday show that Diana Hogrebe was charged with one count of larceny in connection with the skeleton heist, the Santa Fe New Mexican reports.
Hogrebe of Cuyamungue, New Mexico, told Santa Fe County Sheriff’s deputies she was offended by the way the skeleton’s hand was posed — with the middle finger pointed up.
Hogrebe told the Santa Fe New Mexican the episode was the culmination of a monthslong feud between her and neighbor Joseph Downs, who she said has hassled her family and other nearby residents.
“I just, you know, had it,” Hogrebe said. “It was like the last straw that broke the camel’s back, and I don’t know what to do.”
The skeleton has not been located, authorities said.
According to the deputy’s statement of probable cause, the skeleton was a gift to Downs from a family member and was worth about $1,500.
Hogrebe took it in the early morning hours Feb. 27, the statement said. She told the deputy the finger pose had offended and upset her.
“It just put me to the boiling point,” she said in the interview Tuesday.
Downs, who has lived near her for less than a year, regularly harasses her, her 19-year-old daughter, her husband and other neighbors and family members who live in the area, Hogrebe said.
He sets off a propane cannon, typically used by farmers to scare birds from their fields, she said, and plays loud music at all hours.
The deputy’s statement said Downs had video showing Hogrebe entering his property and then walking back to her home with the white skeleton.
Hogrebe “stated she knew what she had done was wrong and admitted to having removed the skeleton,” the statement said.
No phone number was listed for Downs.