A statue of the Lorax, a character from the Dr Seuss book and subsequent hit film adaptation of the same name, has been stolen from the late author's San Diego estate, police have confirmed. Authorities have reported that the 136kg bronze statue went missing on Tuesday (March 27, 2012) from the home and are considering whether the burglary has anything to do with the animated film starring Zac Efron and Taylor Swift currently on release in cinemas nationwide, according to local press The Star.

Dr Seuss - real name Theodor Geisel - died in 1991 aged 87, though his widow Audrey still lives at the property and has appealed for the return of the much loved piece. It was made by Geisel's stepdaughter and is one of two, with the other being donated to a museum.

Local police have stepped up their search for the thieves, who they suspect rolled the statue down the hill to an adjacent property before loading it up in a vehicle and escaping with it. "We don't know if it's just a prank because of the recent release of the movie or if someone thinks it's going to be worth a buck or two because it's a lot of (metal)," said San Diego Police Lieutenant Andra Brown, continuing "We're just hoping that the suspects return it. The Geisel family is just asking that it be returned and they don't want to pursue the matter any further. Which is not to say the police won't."