UW professor’s propeller, bound for park, winds up stolen instead (UPDATE)

UPDATE (Friday, February 3): The propeller has been found! Via Seattle Parks and Recreation’s Parkways blog:

Seattle Parks has possession of the propeller that was stolen earlier this week from the University District. After discovering the stolen propeller at the Northwest Corporate Park in Kent, a security guard contacted the Kent Police Department.


Seattle Parks and Recreation is asking for the public’s help in finding a stolen object bound for installation at a north end park.

The missing object in question: A 70-inch diameter 1,260-pound stainless steel propeller.

Details from Seattle Parks and Recreation’s Dewey Potter (via email):

The University District Community Council and Philip Thiel, naval architect and Professor Emeritus of Architecture and Urban Design and Planning at the University of Washington, were preparing to donate a 70” diameter, stainless steel propeller to Parks as an installation in a north end park.

Unfortunately, thieves drove up an alley in the University District this morning and, managing to overcome the obstacles of both a retaining wall and a fence, lifted the 1,260 lb. propeller onto a truck and drive away with it. There were no witnesses. Neighbors heard a commotion and called the police, but the thieves were long gone.

Professor Thiel and the missing propeller (pre-theft) / Photo courtesy Seattle Parks and Recreation

The propeller is/was to be used in North Passage Point Park in the Northgate area.

The public is asked to keep an eye out for the missing propeller. If spotted, please call the Seattle Police Department’s non-emergency number (206-684-5011) and contact Seattle Parks and Recreation (206-684-7241).