Police in Cherokee County offered a $1,000 reward in their search for a stolen scarecrow only to find out it had been burned by a teenager.
Each scarecrow was created by parents and students at Ball Ground Elementary as part of a fundraising contest.
Police Chief Byron Reeves told Channel 2's Tom Regan police received a tip and found the charred remains of the Uncle Si scarecrow outside the city limits. A 16-year-old confessed to stealing the scarecrow, police said.
"Someone called in a tip and said they'd seen it on a porch outside the city. He admitted that he did take it on his way home one night, and he burned it because he got afraid of the media attention and what it got on social media." Reeves said.
Reeves showed Regan pictures of the charred straw left behind.
The "Duck Dynasty" scarecrow was one of 20 on display in a contest to raise money for the science, technology, engineering and math programs at the school.
"The kids at the school, they put their hearts and soul into that scarecrow. It was just a scarecrow, but it was very special to the community," parent Julie Arthur said.
Some children said it was a disappointing loss.
"I'm really surprised someone would actually do that. I don't know why they would steal a scarecrow and burn it," Pate Arthur said.
Authorities said the teen expressed remorse. He is charged with theft.
"He felt bad about what he did and he actually talked about going and apologizing to the class," Ball Ground City Manager Eric Wilmarth said.
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