Florida police recover hot air balloon

Florida police have recovered a hot air balloon that was previously stolen in Indiana, which is around 900 miles away.

According to a statement, the Bloomington Police Department alerted the Marion County Sheriff’s Office about the stolen balloon, which is said to be worth around $30,000. The balloon had been identified at The Villages Hot Air Balloon Festival, which was taking place at the Florida Horse Park, Ocala, Florida.

Deputies from the Marion County Sheriff’s Office later confirmed the presence of the stolen balloon and tasked a towing company with removing it. The balloon’s owner declined to press charges, citing a desire just to be reunited with his hot air balloon. The police have been working with him to make this possible.

On its Facebook page, the Marion County Sheriff’s Office posted:

“You’re going to think we’re full of ‘hot air’ when you read this, but for the first time in our 175 years of existence, we recovered a stolen hot air balloon!…This just proves that you never know what the MCSO is going to be called out to next.”

At the time of writing, the post had received over a thousand likes and more than 200 comments and 300 shares. Some comments hinted at a chase in the skies, with one user commenting:

“All right!!! pull over at the next cloud!!!”

No further details were forthcoming from the police, and it remains unknown what the thief’s motive was or for how long the hot air balloon had been missing.

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