It's highly unlikely that anyone who goes to the trouble of stealing a bronze marker from a city park has a profit motive. After all, what is a piece of metal with a brief description of Jean Baptiste Girardot's 1733 trading post worth? More than likely, the plaque is the trophy of some misguided person who, for reasons unknown, combines stealing and vandalism into a few minutes of destructive fun.
The 10-pound plaque, until a few days ago, was attached to a large rock at Cape Rock Park, a location frequently visited by local residents and tourists alike because of the fine view the park affords of the Mississippi River. For half a century, the marker has been the target of vandals who have taken or damaged the metal plaque. The latest plaque was 10 years old.
As with all instances of senseless crime, the likelihood of recovering the plaque or finding the person or persons responsible for taking it are slim -- unless some vigilant individual who knows where the plaque is has the courage and decency to step forward.
Anyone with information about the plaque is urged to call the Cape Girardeau Police Department at 335-6621.