NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Offbeat

September 8, 2009

Vermont group tries to take Chili's pepper sign

BENNINGTON, Vt. (AP) — A giant chili pepper on the roof of a Chili's restaurant in southern Vermont was a hot property — police say four people have been caught trying to steal it.

Bennington police say the group ran 470 feet of extension cord across a four-lane road and through a Home Depot parking lot to power an electric drill used to detach the logo sign early Sunday.

Sgt. Camillo Grande says they also brought a hacksaw to remove the pepper sign, valued at $8,000.

An alarm went off at about 4:30 a.m., thwarting their plans to make their getaway in an SUV.

The four — two college students, a recent graduate and one who is "between work and school" — were cited for grand larceny.

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