November 22, 2001 at 5:43 PM EST - Updated July 27 at 12:40 AM
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Wanted: A furry Buckeye with no teeth, a wide grin and big brown eyes.
Only a few days before the annual Ohio State-Michigan game, Brutus Buckeye -- OSU's mascot -- has gone missing.
The Brutus costume, which features a large buckeye head and a scarlet and gray shirt, was in a car that was stolen Tuesday night. Because the costume was covered with a blanket in the back seat, no one is sure if the thief knows he has Brutus.
"Brutus has got to come back. Brutus needs to come home," said Thomas Phillips, who owns the car and plays Brutus.
Police were looking for the mascot.
"Whoever did this will pay," Sgt. Earl Smith said Wednesday.
The costume is valued at $1,000. Luckily for Ohio State fans, there's another Brutus outfit available for Saturday's game at Michigan.
"Brutus one way or another is going to be up there in Ann Arbor Saturday," Phillips said.
(Copyright 2001 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)