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Posted on Sun, Nov 27, 2011 : 4:49 p.m.

Owner of missing metal crossing guard: 'I'm crossing my fingers that someone will bring him back'

By Lisa Carolin


Johnnie Mae Seeley talks about the "Little Man" that was taken from her yard.

Lisa Carolin | For

It has been two weeks since the metal crossing guard figure disappeared from the North Fourth Avenue-side yard of 95-year-old Johnnie Mae Seeley's home at the corner of Beakes Street.

Ann Arbor police have no new leads on the "Little Man" that disappeared Nov.12 from the yard, where it was placed years ago by Howard Seeley, the late husband of Johnnie Mae.


The Little Man.

Courtesy of Margaret Schankler

"I haven't heard anything about the Little Man and have no guesses where he might be," said Seeley. "I'm crossing my fingers that someone will bring him back."

She says that she is hoping for a similar outcome to the last time the Little Man disappeared.

"Someone took him about five or six years ago," Seeley said. "One day the police came to the door and they were smiling, so I knew it couldn't be too serious. They asked if we knew this man and showed us the Little Man. My husband told them, 'That's my sign.' "

"My husband was a collector and hauled for different people who told him to take things to the dump," said Seeley. "This was the dump, so he brought the Little Man here."

Howard Seeley died two years ago, but it hasn't stopped his wife from being involved in the community. She belongs to a knitting club, enjoys shopping at the nearby Ann Arbor Farmers Market and goes to church every Sunday.

"I've worked hard all my life," she said, having spent many years as a caterer.

Originally from Louisiana, Johnnie Mae and Howard Seeley moved to Ann Arbor and bought the home that she still lives in in 1955. With the exception of the missing crossing guard, she says they've never had any trouble in the neighborhood.

"I feel real comfortable here," she said.

Anyone with information on the Little Man can call the Ann Arbor Police Department at 734-994-6920.



Mon, Nov 28, 2011 : 8:59 p.m.

Ms. Seeley sounds like a very sweet person...but come ON,! Enough already.

John Hilton

Mon, Nov 28, 2011 : 6:11 p.m.

Mr. Seeley did his best to secure the Little Man--but this thief also took the concrete he was embedded in!


Tue, Nov 29, 2011 : 3:08 a.m.

I wonder if they used the same jack hammer to bring the bridge as they did the little man in Seeley's yard?

Wolf's Bane

Mon, Nov 28, 2011 : 5:46 p.m.

Okay, this piece of scrap metal is gone. Gone forever. If you cherished it this much, you should have protect it this much.

Skylar Woodman

Mon, Nov 28, 2011 : 3:40 p.m.

I'll be on the lookout. Best believe if I see that crossing guard anywhere else but Ms. Seeley's yard, there's gonna be trouble.

Berda Green

Mon, Nov 28, 2011 : 3:24 a.m.

plz bring him back home miss seely is a real good person


Mon, Nov 28, 2011 : 1:44 a.m.

Unfortunately, whether this was a prank or just theft of a lawn ornament (perhaps for the scrap value), it's a shame that these thugs around town (or coming into town) continue to vandalize property. This is like stealing the manhole covers for scrap or metal gates for scrap. If it's a prank to be returned later, stealing is illegal. My hunch is that it was stolen by someone who wanted an "antique" lawn ornament either for their own lawn or to sell. It's too bad these crimes continue to happen.


Mon, Nov 28, 2011 : 3:47 p.m.

Scrap metal it is. Those scrap metal thieves take what they can and leave no prisoners behind. Sad you have to hide things of value these days.