The Stolen Lorax Statue Remains an Unsolved Crime


The Lorax Statue has been stolen from the Preuss campus presumably during our Thanksgiving Holiday break or our Winter break and is now the subject of an investigation.

As soon as school a custodian found out that the Lorax was stolen from Preuss, UCSD campus security was made aware of the situation. Law enforcement is currently investigating the case and updating Preuss administration as they go along.

School principal, Dr. Steitz summarized, “The Lorax Statue was deliberately stolen. The fence was cut open and we believe that they were looking for wiring or some other construction material.”

With all of the construction taking place in that area of the school, Dr. Steitz believes that the thief or thieves’ primary goal was to steal construction equipment. Although there are surveillance cameras on the property, none in the area are pointed towards the Lorax Statue, rendering the camera(s) in the area useless.

Anthony Perez (‘22) reveals, “I’m seriously concerned about the safety of me and my [friends]. I find it very concerning that there is practically a blind spot in the school’s surveillance.”

The injustice that the school is experiencing due to this event is upsetting. Perez believes that, due to the lack of visual evidence, anything can occur in that area of the school and the suspect would face no consequences.

Dr. Steitz explains plans to advance the security of the school, “We need to have a needs assessment to figure out what we can do to better secure the school.”

Because we are in a pandemic, the school is not as populated as it usually would be and Dr. Steitz believes this gave the criminal(s) more incentive. They cost the school thousands of dollars in damages.

Retired Preuss History teacher, Advisory teacher, and Gardening Club advisor, Mr. Romer, provides insight: “As a tribute to her late husband, Theodor Geisel, pen name Dr. Seuss, Audrey Geisel, gifted the statue of the Lorax to us.”

Late philanthropic Audrey Geisel, has donated over $14 million dollars to UC San Diego and there are a number of locations on the campus that are dedicated to the Geisels. In June 2009, Audrey Geisel continued to show her generosity by gifting The Preuss School UC San Diego the Lorax Statue.

Mr. Romer recalls the day the statue was unveiled, “She actually held the hand of the Lorax Statue and I told the officers I was standing next to, In her mind she’s holding her husband’s hand, but he’s passed away.”

It was at that moment that it became clear to him that as his role as the leader of the Gardening Club, it was their responsibility to take care of the Lorax Statue. Mr. Romer was able to come to the conclusion that the Lorax was Theodor Geisel’s alter ego.

“I felt like a family member was taken from us,” Mr. Romer expressed.

Unfortunately, this wasn’t the first time a crime like this was committed. In March of 2012, a 300 pound Lorax Statue was stolen from the Geisel residency. Thankfully, the statue was returned to its home.

Lark Grey Diamond-Cates, Audrey Geisel’s daughter and Theodor Geisel’s step-daughter, jokingly responded to the incident in a 2013 article, “You can’t be stealing the Lorax. It’s a little Ginch-y to be doing that.”

“In my view, – [the Lorax statue] weighed many hundreds of pounds, if not thousands of pounds. I thought it was about half a ton to be honest… That’s why I am still shocked it got stolen,” Mr. Romer said shockingly.

In addition to its perceived heaviness, Mr. Romer also mentioned that the statue costs roughly $10,000, although due to its history, some might say it was priceless. Principal Dr. Steitz is working with UC San Diego to make sure that the cost of the statue is replaced and damages to the fencing.

“I think what the Lorax statue represented on campus was a gathering place,” Mr. Romer continued, “it was a focal point.”