A police report was filed three years ago when Lefty O’Doul’s arm was absconded by a couple of Bloody Mary-loving pranksters, but now the arm has been returned and police can close the case.

“(Owner) Nick Bovis will not press charges,” said Lee Housekeeper, spokesman for Lefty O’Doul’s Restaurant and Lounge. “I’m going to call police and tell them they can take this out of their cold case file.”

Three years ago, a couple of men who described themselves as “drunken patrons” and were believed to be visiting San Francisco to attend the 2007 Major League Baseball All Star game ran from Lefty O’Doul’s restaurant with an arm that had been ripped from a mannequin intended to be a stand-in for the real Lefty O’Doul baseball star.

The arm was finally returned this week after three years of traipsing around Iowa.
Included in a box postmarked from Des Moines were a letter to the patrons of the bar and several photos of the arm’s travels in Iowa to places such as the State Capitol Building and the inside of a cannon at a Civil War monument. The arm also participated in the Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa.

The letter spoke of the arm’s first flight from San Francisco, when it rode in the overhead storage bin, and of coming to accept Des Moines as a second home.

In honor of the arm’s return, Lefty O’Doul’s gave out free Bloody Marys starting at about 3 p.m. today.

At 4 p.m., Dr. Hip, also known as Eugene Shoenfeld, slipped on a lab coat to perform the reattachment using a screwdriver and duct tape.

The abductors did not identify themselves, and the only clues to their identity were an email address, a notation about Team Duct Tape in relation to the bicycle ride, and an address in Des Moines.

The address is for a 43-story building, which is the city’s tallest building and headquarters of Principal Financial Group.

In appreciation of making Lefty whole again, Bovis will send a case of Lefty O’Doul’s famous Bloody Mary mix to the Des Moines pranksters if they can be located, Housekeeper said.

But so far, the abductors are staying at arm’s length.

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