GOODING -- A bizarre theft and vandalism in Gooding targeted a fundraiser to help the community.

The Idaho Rodeo Hall of Fame is a non-profit organization that recently started a fundraising event asking local businesses to buy life-sized replicas of steers.

The fundraiser is working to raise money for a new building for the Hall of Fame, and also to give four scholarships and awards to local youth.

Each large wooden longhorn cost $150. Businesses that purchase them can decorate the steers however they would like.

The steers will be on display all summer before the designs are judged in early August.

But over the weekend, the Idaho Rodeo Hall of Fame says one steer was stolen and two others vandalized.

It's always shocking when your community is violated in any way, secretary Charmy Leavell said.

Leavell tells us about 40 steers are up around town, in various stages of decoration.

She says a steer painted blue at Franklin Building Supply on Main Street was taken, despite being chained and locked up. Leavell says it looks like someone cut through the chain to take the four-foot statue.

Two other steers, one at Washington Federal, and another at Commercial Tire, were found coated in graffiti, spray painted with inappropriate language.

Leavell says so far, the project had been a huge success.

They just got very enthused about this project, they've all come together to do this, and it's going to be a sight to see when its all done: All these beautiful steers down Main Street that are painted, she said.

Leavell says they were shocked when they found the damaged and missing steers on Monday.

Frankly, we were shocked, she sad. We just didn't think this would happen, not for this.

Gooding Police are investigating. They say they've already interviewed a suspect who confessed to stealing the steer.

They say the suspect is an adult male, who posted on Facebook that he had taken the steer.

Police believe the vandalism is unrelated and they are still looking for whoever is responsible.

Idaho Rodeo Hall of Fame is offering a $500 reward for any information that leads to an arrest.

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