GONZALES — In a bit of holiday fun, Gonzales police officers said Tuesday an unusual Christmas Eve bandit remains at large and wanted by authorities.
This foul one is no deceptive Mr. Grinch stuffing Cindy-Lou Who’s Christmas tree up the chimney.
It’s a furry masked creature, no more than a foot tall, with fastidious little hands and a bushy, striped tail.
The big raccoon was last seen fleeing from the Rotolo’s parking lot on North Airline Highway, headed toward a nearby Verizon store shortly before 7:18 a.m. Dec. 24.
A Republic Services garbage truck driver told officers the raccoon jumped into the front cab of his truck moments after the driver had emptied trash from a garbage container into his truck and began pulling away, a police report says.
The raccoon wound up on the driver’s chest and legs.
The driver told officers he became scared, stood up in the truck cab to get the raccoon off and accidently hit the gas pedal with his foot.
The truck went forward into a light pole in the parking lot at 1402 N. Airline Highway, Gonzales, the report says.
When the truck stopped, the driver jumped out of the cab and ran away.
The raccoon crawled out as well and ran off toward the Verizon store, the police report says. The impact with the light pole severely damaged the truck, which had to be towed away, the report says.
The light pole was also knocked over, but the driver and the raccoon were unscathed. The driver was not issued a ticket.
The raccoon remains at large.
Follow David J. Mitchell on Twitter, @NewsieDave.