Wauconda resident finds missing 'Blues Brothers' sidewalk art chair
One week after it was reported missing, the Adirondack chair painted with a portrait of Blues Brothers' John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd is set to return to the Main Street sidewalk in Wauconda.
The bright blue chair was found Sunday in the back parking lot of businesses along Main Street. Several community members said it was found behind Middleton's on Main, 110 S. Main St. Wauconda police said they couldn't confirm the location.
Deputy Chief John Thibault said a young man, who he did not identify, saw the chair while walking home from a friend's house. Recognizing the chair from posters displayed across the village, he called his parents who told him to contact Wauconda Police. The chair was found intact and was in good condition.
"Our first guess was that we'd never see it again, someone would panic or break it up or ship it across the country," Thibault said.
The chair was part of the Art on Main initiative, an effort to raise money to beautify Main Street. It was one of 15 painted Adirondack chairs placed outside local businesses. The chairs, which cost $250, will be auctioned off Sept. 6 at 6 p.m. at the farmers market in Wauconda.
Brian Linning, a Wauconda resident and owner of Bark 'N' Town, 27607 W. Brandenburg Road, started a Facebook group on Sunday, June 10, the night the chair was reported stolen. The group, which originally had 75 members, has increased by 654 since its creation.
"We were all holding out hope that we would get it," Linning said. "To have it back in a week, that's great news."
Thibault said the Wauconda police contacted the owner of the chair to see how he would like to move forward with the investigation and to discuss dusting the chair for fingerprints. However, with the number of people who have sat in the chair and the chance of the dust ruining it, that would probably be a moot point, Thibault said.
Most of the Adirondack chairs on Main Street are now anchored with chains.
The Blues Brothers chair is currently in the Wauconda Police Department garage, but will return to its original location outside of Wauconda Paint & Glass, 104 S. Main St., sometime this week.
Residents said local businesses were offering a $500 reward for the chair.
"It's going back to where it belongs and we're going to have a great summer," Linning said. "There's going to be a fierce competition to bid on that chair."