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Thief steals coffin, bed of nails, electric chair from Cincinnati Circus Company

Posted: 1:12 AM, Jul 24, 2019
Updated: 2019-07-24 01:27:36-04
WCPO stolen circus trailer.jpg

CINCINNATI — Whoever stole the Cincinnati Circus Company’s sideshow trailer Saturday is in for a surprise when they open it. The tandem-axle Homesteader Challenger housed some of the most ghoulish props in their repertoire: A bed of nails, a coffin and an electric chair, among other odd-but-essential accouterments for assorted acts of daring.

It’s over $10,000 of equipment all told, according to owner Dave Willacker, and losing it to theft is a serious setback. You can’t just buy a replacement bed of nails.

The company, which employs about 100 performers, has spent the last several days borrowing equipment from other circus companies in order to make scheduled performance dates. It’s not sustainable, Willacker said.

“We’ve borrowed equipment from as far away as Illinois, and they drove through the night and we drove to meet them to pick up equipment to make it possible,” he said.

Those trips have forced them to cut back their shows and, in turn, cut performers’ paychecks, according to aerialist Nikki McGlosson. She said she wishes she could make the thief understand exactly what they’ve done.

“Hopefully, you would leave it somewhere and give an anonymous call telling where it would be found,” she said. “You impacted a small business and everyone that works for it in a very harmful way, and I’d like you to know that.”

The trailer, which was stolen from the Cincinnati Circus Company’s private lot Saturday, is a black Homesteader Challenger with a No. 7 sticker in the upper left-hand corner of its back door. Anyone who sees it should call police.