BATON ROUGE — According to float owner Maggie Gaudin Caplinger, a fixture in the popular Spanish Town Mardi Gras Parade for the last 15 years is missing.
She said someone stole the float from the storage property on Airline Highway between Monday night and early Tuesday morning.
“A friend of ours has these construction mobile offices, and he has a bunch of these mobile offices on his property,” Caplinger explained. “We store it there, and it’s fenced in. We filed a police report. We’re just trying to get it out there because how could somebody hide a 32-foot big black float.”
Caplinger said the float has sentimental value. Her late husband Paul designed the float and painted a distinct detail that made it stand out.
“My husband was a carpenter, and he made the backdoor look like a head of a flamingo, and we would kind of paint it like a flamingo,” she said. “He has since passed away. He was big in Spanish town, so it’s just heartbreaking that that’s gone.”
She said her now adult daughter started riding on the float in the parade at 12. Caplinger noted she had been handing duties down to her daughter in preparation for becoming the crew captain soon.
“I’m just seeing if anybody sees a float in, you know, a neighborhood that’s never been there before,” she said. “Or did they see anything Monday night or like, ‘Oh, y’all got a new float. Where’d that come from?'”
Anyone with information on the stolen float should contact Crime Stoppers at 225-344-7867.
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