Who needs the World's Greatest Detective when you have the Loughborough Police?
While conducting a raid last week, police in the English town uncovered the Gotham sign stolen in March 2014. Although Batman fans had been the prime suspects -- they frequently visit the sleepy Nottinghamshire village to have photos taken beside the sign -- BBC News reports the culprit appears to have been a local man.
A 39-year-old man was arrested following the raid on charges of drug possession, theft and abstraction of electricity. His identity wasn't revealed in the article, but Nottinghamshire County Council, which owns the sign, seems to think a certain smiling, green-haired character is to blame.
Responding to a photo of the Gotham sign tweeted by the Loughborough Police, the council wrote, "Thanks very much for finding our sign. This has all the hallmarks of the Joker’s work. Will arrange for the Batmobile to collect."
The Gotham sign is a frequent target of pranksters and Batman fans alike; the BBC says it's believed to be the most stolen in the county.
Although the bustling Gotham City is rife with colorful criminals, the village of Gotham (pronounced "goat-em") has just 1,600 residents and a crime rate lower than the national average.
The villagers were long famed for the stories of the “Wise Men of Gotham,” which depicted them as slow-witted (although they were really only feigning stupidity). Because of those tales, Washington Irving in his Salmagundi Papers referred to New York City as Gotham, a moniker Bill Finger borrowed — he plucked it out of a phone book, actually — for the new name of the Dark Knight’s stomping grounds.
— Loughborough Police (@Lboropolice) June 20, 2015