Herkimer, the one-of-a-kind "Okie" statue stolen from Gary Weiss' front porch last Saturday night was returned last week. Weiss found his unruly friend lying across his doorstep, gallon jug of hooch still in hand.

When parents discovered that an unwelcome houseguest with a bottle of moonshine accompanied their teenagers home last weekend, they booted him out onto another's front porch.

The houseguest was Herkimer, a one-of-a-kind "Okie" statue stolen from Gary Weiss's front porch last Saturday night. When Weiss returned from a short trip on Friday, he found his unruly friend lying across his doorstep, gallon jug still in hand.

"I almost passed out I was so happy," Weiss said. "He's a little worse for wear — I think he tied on one and got banged around a bit in some bar fight somewhere."

Weiss called the police, who informed him that the parents of the teenage pranksters had told them Herkimer would be returned.

Weiss does not plan to press charges, but he is hoping to have the kids who took Herkimer pay for repairs to the statue's broken feet and apologize for the theft.

Once the 75-pound Herkimer is able to stand up on his own again, Weiss plans to keep him on the back porch, shielded from more would-be pranksters.

Staff writer Julie French can be reached at 482-3456 ext. 227 or jfrench@dailytidings.com.