The cow came home - Coeur d'Alene Press: Local News

The cow came home

Police arrest suspect in April 27 theft

Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Thursday, May 10, 2012 12:15 am

COEUR d'ALENE - Here's a tip: When you steal something, don't post a picture of yourself on Facebook with the stolen item.

Especially when that item is a 70-pound, fiberglass cow that's a local icon and has been the subject of news stories

"It's back home," said Tracy Gagnon, owner of the antique, brown and white cow that was stolen April 27 from the front of the Paris Flea Market, 1815 N. Fourth St.

The cow was recovered by police on a porch near Fourth Street and Coeur d'Alene Avenue on Wednesday morning. Police were tipped off by a caller, whose daughter saw photos of the suspect posing with the cow on his Facebook account.

Detectives found the cow partially hidden under a blanket.

Brandon M. Hiza, 23, Coeur d'Alene, was arrested for grand theft, a felony, and was being held without bond in Kootenai County jail. His first court appearance is scheduled today.

Hiza, who is on felony probation for burglary, admitted to detectives that he and a friend took the cow "to be funny," said Sgt. Christie Wood.

The Gagnons didn't find it amusing.

Jeff and Tracy Gagnon picked up their cow and set it back in front of their shop Wednesday.

"Police had me take it because they didn't have room in their evidence locker," Jeff said, smiling.

Tracy and Jeff Gagnon were there when Hiza was arrested and asked him why he took it.

"He said it was just a prank," Tracy said.

When Jeff Gagnon asked why he didn't return it, Hiza reportedly said he didn't have a truck.

Tracy was delighted the cow was home. They decorated it with a sign that read "Welcome Home Moo La La!!" and a derby hat.

Customers were stopping in Wednesday, too, happy to see the cow again.

"He got cracked a little bit, but he's in one piece," she said.

The Gagnons bought the cow at an estate sale two years ago for $2,800. It was believed to be from the 1940s.

Tracy said the cow quickly became a leading attraction, with folks often posing with it for pictures. Paris Flea Market was at 823 N. Fourth before moving to its new location earlier this year.

"I love the new space," Jeff said. "The only problem we ever had here was the missing cow."

Jeff said the cow will be kept inside at night until he can secure it with a heavier chain.

"He'll be permanently fastened, somehow," he said.

Without the cow, Tracy said, business hasn't been the same at Paris Flea Market.

"We missed him," she said.

More about

More about

More about

  • Discuss

Welcome to the discussion.


  • starzowner posted at 5:35 am on Wed, Oct 17, 2012.

    starzowner Posts: 21

    1) He is not a "kid" He became an adult at 18. 2) He was an adult when he burglerized some poor citizen in 2008. 3) He was still on probation when he made the adult decision to steal from another once again and violate the terms of his probation. 4) He obviously has no respect for others or their property. 5) He deserves all adult sentencing he gets for his felony adult crimes. 6) It matters not what he stole from someone. What matters is he took what did not belong to him. He has absolutely no right to violate another person's right to enjoy their property. 7) There is absolutely nothing humerous about his felony crimes! Maybe he'll not think its so funny next time he decides to steal from or burglerize another given the three strikes law. Hopefully, he won't take the advice from these idiots that think it is fun and games.

  • brby posted at 5:49 pm on Mon, May 14, 2012.

    brby Posts: 8

    Just to let all you people in CDA know,this is Brandon's mother and no, I am NOT IDJeepgurl, I am not proud of what my son has done,I personally think he is a complete idiot for pulling this so called prank and NO,I AM NOT PROUD OF BRANDON. Yes what he did was break the law and I do not condone his behavior at all so for those of you who have commented in regards to me, please stop, I am a firm believer in tough love and if you can't do the time,than don't do the crime.

  • My2sence posted at 2:21 pm on Mon, May 14, 2012.

    My2sence Posts: 317

    It didn't belong to him, it was valued at over one thousand dollars, he stole it....the definition for that crime is "grand theft" punishable by law. Exactly what part of this are you having difficulties with jeepgurl?
    You must be either his mom or girlfriend, he is a thief plain and simple....ok he has a great since of humor....well that makes him a funny thief I guess. Betcha he doesn't think doin time is all that "funny" back in the 50's this would have been considered a "prank" and if the kid got caught he would more than likely have to paint ol man Johnsons mile & 1/2 fence for the whole summer.....but that was 62 years ago, people do not tolerate it anymore, I wouldn't. And if you already have a "past" like Brandon does....and if your on probation for sh1ts sake, why would you do something this stupid. I don't feel sorry for this man (you keep calling him a kid, how cute) 23? not exactly "dennis the menace" with the sling shot in the back pocket anymore, 23 is old enough to know right from wrong.....or, maybe not. Hmmm maybe with the 3rd strike looming over his head, he wont be pulling any more felony "pranks".

  • IDJeepgurl posted at 11:29 am on Fri, May 11, 2012.

    IDJeepgurl Posts: 67

    My2sense, it "blows my mind" how stupid people are... This kid isn't even close to being a "Thug".... HAHAHA... Skater/stoner maybe, but thug? Scares me what would happen to the narrow minded people of Idaho if they ever ended up in the middle of Compton or somewhere. Just because a kids underwear are higher than his jeans, or his baseball hat is on sideways, or God forbid he is wearing a "Hoodie", doesn't make him a gangster or a thug.. Thug's don't steal plastic cows.. If the cop caller who snitched on this kid wouldn't have, I can totally see this kid bringing the cow back with a bikini on it or something.

  • IDJeepgurl posted at 11:14 am on Fri, May 11, 2012.

    IDJeepgurl Posts: 67

    In Meridian seniors are being charged for decorating the school with post it notes, in CDA, a kid is being charged for "stealing" a fake cow. What is our world coming to? I looked up this kids Facebook, looks to me this is a kid with a larger than life personality and sense of humor. I also looked up his record. His "theft" charges are from 08, that puts him about 19 at the time. I wasn't there so I don't know the circumstances behind his charges, but I do see that he spent 2 years in prison, and WAS about a year away from being discharged from parole. Yes, he should have used his head, and this cow thing was a dumb "prank" but, honestly, what is more stupid? A kid stealing a fake cow, someone paying 2800 for a fake cow or sending a kid to prison over it? I don't know this kid, and Tracy Gagnon is the brother of a good friend of mine, BUT what I do know is our system, and what prison is all about, and I will tell you, those of you that are ready to throw the book at this kid. The ONLY thing that will come out of sending this kid back to prison is heartache for his mother and loved ones, more money for the state, and more warping of this kids mind. Do you think the Idaho Dept of Correction works at rehabilitating people? No... All prison does is teach young kids how to become better at hustling, fighting, and how to become a better criminal. Because of this, Brandon will already be charged with violating parole, you add grand theft charges, and this kid is one felony away from Idaho's 3 strikes your out, and spending life in prison.. Over dumb things! Make this kid work all summer for free, or something. People that are so narrow minded and gun hoe on sending people to prison have no clue. This kid has "kid things" on his record, stuff a lot of you all did as kids, but the difference is, back in our day the things we did weren't felonies. Honestly is this kid a danger to us on the streets? Save the space in the court room for sex offenders, drunk drivers, and murderers. To send a 23yo to prison over stealing a plastic cow, that would have probably been brought back is ridiculous! I for one hope the Gagnon's drop the charges and/or the Judge throws this out.. And you all complain about your tax dollars paying for public defenders and incarcerated people, yet your willing to throw a kid like this in prison? WOW! The whole thing is flat out dumb!

  • cda208nw posted at 6:19 pm on Thu, May 10, 2012.

    cda208nw Posts: 1

    How is the fact that it was just a prank so unbelievable? Go after some real criminals doing harm to our society, a kid stealing a plastic cow should not warrant this much attention and punishment. Sad that this is getting so much press.

  • My2sence posted at 9:15 am on Thu, May 10, 2012.

    My2sence Posts: 317

    When this first happened, I posted that fotunately, kids (thieves) today are very stupid, and this idiot proved it. WHAT THE HE!! ARE YOU GONNA DO WITH A LIFE SIZE COW??? MORON.
    Kids vandalize cars on high school property very regularly, even though they know, or have been told....there are stinkin video cameras everywhere, and they act suprised when their caught ? it blows my mind how dumb thugs are today.

  • mister d posted at 7:28 am on Thu, May 10, 2012.

    mister d Posts: 1531

    Glad you got your cow back and the theif was arrested. His past burglary charge sort of diminishes the "prank" excuse. "I didn't have a truck" , how about "I didn't have a brain".

  • ancientemplar posted at 7:27 am on Thu, May 10, 2012.

    ancientemplar Posts: 1188

    Its really too bad that the Paris Flea Market had to move in light of the fact that the "Trump Towers" of midtown,(money provided by LCDC,) has been cancelled for good.

default avatar
Welcome to the site! Login or Signup below.
Not you?||
Logout|My Dashboard