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Posted on Fri, Nov 18, 2011 : 10:09 p.m.

Owner asks thief to return missing crossing guard sign from Beakes Street

By Paula Gardner

Neighbors are rallying around Johnnie Mae Seeley this week as they spread the word of the missing "little man" stolen from her yard.

That "little man" is a vintage metal crossing guard sign found by her late husband and mounted next to the fence at their home at North Fourth Avenue and Beakes - until it was stolen last weekend.


Margaret Schankler

Seeley and her neighbors want the figure returned: It's a neighborhood landmark and an important memento that her late husband valued, she told WDIV-TV for a video report.

Commenters on's report of the theft speculated about reasons for the theft: It could be a campus prank, they said, or scrappers could have tried to profit with it.

Another commenter found a link to a damaged version of the figure listed for sale on a Canadian website.

Wystan Stevens posted a link showing what the "little man" looked like when he was pristine.

And one commenter seemed to sum up much of the reaction: "This guy not only means more to Mrs. Seeley than you know, it also means a lot to this neighborhood. I hope that the guilty party quietly returns him soon. Mr. Seeley hunted that thing down last time it was taken and cemented it in the ground to try to prevent this from occurring. The Seeleys contributed so much to this town and neighborhood."

Another reminded readers: "If you have any information about the whereabouts of the Little Man, please call the Ann Arbor police desk, 994-6920, and refer to case number 11-56130."

Watch the video from WDIV-TV.



Sat, Nov 19, 2011 : 4:54 p.m.

I have several different metal collectors driving around my Neighborhood, and they seem to pick anything up that is not nailed down. If you really want it back then call around to all the places who buy scrap metal. The collectors probably don't read the news, and the collectors don't really look at the stuff they are buying. They could care less, unless you call and ask them to look for it. I would not wait too long.


Sat, Nov 19, 2011 : 4:27 p.m.

I do not believe the commenters wish to become the news, nor have we done so. The links provide useful information, and may of us have known the Seeleys for a very long time. Mrs. Seeley is one of the most generous and kind-hearted people I have ever known, and her husband was the same way. Mrs. Seeley is a person who brings people off the street to offer them a warm home-cooked meal or a place to sit down and rest. Those of us who know and love her just want to help her get her little man back.


Sat, Nov 19, 2011 : 3:37 p.m.

So the Seeley's are asking the people who stole the Crossing Guard Sign to give it back? I guess it is the Holiday season, maybe miracles happen.

Paula Gardner

Sat, Nov 19, 2011 : 12:43 p.m.

The commenters aren't the news - but sometimes the information they provide is interesting. So many people read this story yesterday, I thought it was worthwhile to include things like the link to what the crossing guard once looked like - especially since I was linking to the WDIV video anyways. WDIV did a good job with it.


Sat, Nov 19, 2011 : 3:17 p.m.



Sat, Nov 19, 2011 : 2:42 p.m.

Investigative reporting at its finest!

Peter Jameson

Sat, Nov 19, 2011 : 7:14 a.m.

Haa yea, I was joking about my pals on campus wanting to paint it. how foolish you are


Mon, Nov 21, 2011 : 4:56 p.m.

Yeah, that's really funny. You're a regular Mark Twain. Thank you for that biting social commentary.


Mon, Nov 21, 2011 : 4:52 p.m.

Yeah, ha ha, NOT. I don't know why trying to make people looking foolish for being so stupid as to take someone at their word is considered "a joke". I guess that's why I never liked Letterman either....


Sat, Nov 19, 2011 : 3:36 a.m.

Seriously--the commenters have become the news?

tom swift jr.

Sat, Nov 19, 2011 : 12:18 p.m.

Actually "commenters as news" is a very clever idea. It assures that no real reporters have to be hired, and the supply of "news" is self perpetuating... Good work,, good work.