MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - Worrying about thieves is nothing new for retail stores, but Outdoors Inc. thought its 6,000-pound, 30-foot-tall rock-climbing wall was safe. It wasn't. Someone made off with the $30,000 wall used for rock climbing Wednesday morning, but it was recovered Friday at a lot near the Memphis airport, The Commercial Appeal reported.
The wall was snatched from a storage lot used by Outdoor Inc., which rents the wall to organizers of outdoors events and festivals. The wall, painted gray to resemble rock, is dotted with raised handholds climbers hang on to.
"I don't know what to think," co-owner Lawrence Migliara said. "Why would someone steal that? I just didn't know that wall was that desirable, to take that much of a risk."
An employee with the Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority had seen the wall near the airport earlier, but did not call police until he heard news it had been stolen.
"I thought it was kind of weird," David Sinclair said. "That's not something you see every day. But I didn't really think much about it until I learned it was stolen."
Migliara said Thursday that he had received a tip that the wall was spotted being towed on a highway near Little Rock, Ark., but it was unclear Friday if the wall ever made it outside Memphis.
The owner of an auto body shop near the airport also called police Friday.
"I think it's absolutely hilarious for somebody to steal that," Samuel Harston said. "My God, what were they going to do with it?"
Memphis police are investigating, but said they had no leads.