The Case of the Traveling Gnome

A garden gnome which was stolen from a yard in Morgantown WV, has written home.

“Please bail me out of jail uncle Allen. Send money to PA State Penitentiary. Gnomey. P.s. Sorry, I left home but, I wanted to see the world and now I’m in trouble.”

Included with the letter, which had a Pittsburgh postmark, were three photos of the 14-inch red-and-white gnome. Two appear to be booking photos and the other is of the gnome in the back seat of a police car. “It’s hilarious,” said Snyder, who bought the gnome two years ago to cover a bare spot in his yard. He said he picked this particular one because it reminded him of the roaming gnome shown in Travelocity advertisements.

Snyder has no theories about who might be behind the prank. “Nobody liked that gnome,” he said. Someone thought of those pictures and that letter. It’s someone with a good sense of humor.” He misses the diminutive yard guard. “I guess I’ll just have to wait for another letter,” he said. Well he didn’t have to wait to long before the gnome wrote home again, this time The latest letter, which Snyder received this week, included photos of the gnome in the company of Steelers fans attending Pittsburgh’s football home opener.

“You never took me to any games,” the note said. The letter ended: “Have to go now. Boarding a plane. Now, finally, broadening my travels.” Snyder has no idea who’s pulling this prank but said his short list of suspects includes several gag-loving friends.
The plight of his gnome has gotten a lot of attention. Snyder says people are always asking if he’s heard from Gnomey. “I never thought it would go this far,” he said.

The story has even caught the attention of officials at Travelocity, which uses a roaming gnome in the online travel agency’s advertising.

“While we know that your dear friend, Gnomey, can never be replaced, we’re sending the enclosed Roaming Gnome to keep you company in his absence,” wrote Michelle Peluso, president and chief executive officer of Travelocity, based in Southlake, Texas.

“Hopefully your friend will find his way out of trouble and back to your front yard soon, although we can’t help but admire his sense of adventure and love of travel. “I like all the others will be waiting anxiously to hear where Gnomeys travels have taken him to next.

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