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Christmas salmon stolen from local fisherman’s yard

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Mike Costello/courtesy photograph

A large hand-painted salmon sign was stolen from the front yard of a Woodbridge home on Friday, Nov. 30, 2012. The fish, a gift to Woodbridge resident Mike Costello from a longtime client, was a Christmas staple of the neighborhood, and the Costellos are asking for its return.

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The Grinch has struck, but this year he might be in the form of a bear, an eagle — or someone with a big truck.

A large, hand-painted salmon sign has been stolen out of Eme and Mike Costello’s front yard in Woodbridge, where it has been displayed each holiday season for three years.

Such a unique find is not replaceable, said Eme Costello.

“It’s so unusual. Everyone misses it,” she said.

During Christmas, the sign is decked out in lights and a Santa hat, while a large fly fishing lure dangles from its mouth. It was a perfect ornament for the Costellos, since Mike Costello has worked as a fly fishing guide on the Delta and local rivers for 23 years.

The sign, which measured three feet by four feet, was supported in the yard on large wooden dowels stuck in a planter box. It was taken — or maybe it swam upstream — on Friday night during the rainstorm.

Security cameras usually monitor the entrance of the couple’s Wine Country neighborhood. Unfortunately, the cameras were out of service during the storm.

Walkers, joggers and neighbors enjoyed the novelty, said Eme Costello.

“It was a showstopper,” she said. “It makes us sick because everyone that walks by us now asks, ‘What happened to the fish?’”

The fish was a gift from longtime client John Schunzel, who found it at a shop along the North Coast about ten years ago.

Mike Costello wasn’t sure at first what to do with a giant painted fish. But he decorates the yard lavishly at Christmastime and thought the fish might make a great addition.

“That was the topping, to have this giant salmon out there,” he said. “It was a bummer to get things stolen at Christmas time.”

The Costellos are offering a monetary reward for the sign’s return. Contact Eme or Mike Costello by email at fishtrips@earthlink.net.

Contact reporter Sara Jane Pohlman at sarap@lodinews.com.

1 image

Mike Costello/courtesy photograph

A large hand-painted salmon sign was stolen from the front yard of a Woodbridge home on Friday, Nov. 30, 2012. The fish, a gift to Woodbridge resident Mike Costello from a longtime client, was a Christmas staple of the neighborhood, and the Costellos are asking for its return.

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