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Man stakes claim to tube steak statue

The mystery of the appearance of a Hot Dog Man statue on an Iowa street corner, which attracted international attention, has been solved, thanks to police work and the surfacing of its owner.
This 6-foot Hot Dog Man statue was found at Harmony Court and Benton Street on Sept. 2.
This 6-foot Hot Dog Man statue was found at Harmony Court and Benton Street on Sept. 2.Council Bluffs Police Department
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The case of the mysterious Hot Dog Man statue has been solved.

The statue, which appeared on a Council Bluffs, Iowa, street corner near a school, prompting a call to police by a citizen who thought it was a man in costume, has been claimed by its rightful owner, The Daily Nonpareil reports.

What proof of ownership did Curtis Wennhold offer that the statue, which was missing its arms, was his? The arms, said police Capt. Terry LeMaster, according to the Nonpareil.

“(Wennhold) has the arms; to me, that’s enough proof that it is his,” LeMaster laughed. “We’ll be glad to give it back to him.”

Wennhold told police he found the statue in California and brought it to his Council Bluffs yard, LeMaster told the Nonpareil.

The captain said a group of teenagers saw the statue and decided to take it. In lifting the 400-pound hot dog into a vehicle, the teens managed to break off the arms, one of which was applying ketchup to the wienie's head, the other holding mustard.

The statue-nappers took Hot Dog Man home, LeMaster told the Nonpareil, but they soon became "creeped out" by its leering expression, took it to the corner of Harmony Court and Benton Street, and left it.

LeMaster told the paper that the teenage culprits had been identified but that no one involved in the case wanted to press charges.

After some paperwork is taken care of, Hot Dog Man will return home with Wennhold, LeMaster told the Nonpareil. And then the widespread attention the statue's appearance attracted is likely to die down — police said they received tips and offers to take it from as far away as Australia.