CLEMSON, S.C. (Noah Feit//The Charlotte Observer) - Police are having some fun on social media as they search for the suspect who stole the “C” off an iconic sign in downtown Clemson, something authorities called “shenanigans.”
But Clemson City Police are also being very clear that there will be serious consequences for the person responsible for turning the sign above the Tiger Sports Shop into a marquee that reads “lemson.”
The thief also damaged the “C” on the other side of the Clemson sign “in an apparent failed attempt to take it,” police said on Facebook.
“Do you realize the hornets nest you just stirred with your shenanigans? Do you realize I love using the word shenanigans?” the police department said in the post that included photos of the signs, one damaged and the other without the “C.”
But the police message also included a warning that the area is “under surveillance from multiple businesses and the downtown camera system,” followed by a request for the thief responsible for the vandalism to turn themselves in.
“That sound you’re hearing isn’t an angry crocodile either... tik tok,” police said on Facebook.
The letter went missing between Monday and Thursday from the sign that sits above the fan store that has inhabited the building that was the Clemson Theatre since 1984, the Greenville News reported.
Police said the store’s owner isn’t “happy at all (about the missing letter). Historical significance and all,” when responding to a comment on the post.
The store’s general manager said she is serious about wanting the “iconic” marquee restored to normal, but Tiger Sports Shop has gotten into the fun the police started on Facebook, writing “Did you ‘C’ the shenanigans,” on the adjustable sign beneath the Clemson marquee, according to the newspaper.
The police’s Facebook post has garnered more than 1,400 reactions and close to 800 shares. There are also 500-plus comments responding to the post, most lighthearted and some responses from the police. They include memes and gifs in addition to some traditional comments.
Police played along with one person who suggested “hanging” the suspect, saying “I feel like hanging someone for stealing a letter, regardless of the historical nature of it, may be a tad bit excessive. Just a bit.”
When another person prompted police about possible charges, it responded with a serious crime, but again in a lighthearted manner, saying “*Clears throat* ‘Grand Larceny’ ” on Facebook.
Pushed about what the thief in possession of the “C” could wind up getting, police said “Matching bracelets would be my best guess.”
Police have not released any information about the suspect, or suspects. But the department responded to a few comments on Facebook that it does not believe it was done by a rival fan from the University of South Carolina, or even Alabama. It indicated it is more likely this was perpetrated by a person devoted to Clemson, possibly a recently graduated senior who took it as a keepsake or prank.
That isn’t going to reduce the punishment, with police saying on Facebook “that’s a really expensive senior prank.”
While police have teased the hashtag “#staytuned” about more information, including a possible video, being released, it is still asking for the community’s help in identifying the thief.