Fake skeletons cause concern in Farr West

Aug 28 2013 - 4:40am

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Courtesy photo
Steve Strank removes some fake skeletons from his storage unit in Farr West. An older couple driving by thought it was the real thing.
Courtesy photo
Steve Strank removes some fake skeletons from his storage unit in Farr West. An older couple driving by thought it was the real thing.

FARR WEST -- Steve Strank didn't give it much thought when, while unloading his storage unit on Tuesday evening, he saw an elderly couple drive by slowly, deep concern on their faces.

"I just waved at them," said Strank, 32, of Washington Terrace. "They didn't wave back."

Strank did look up a few minutes later when a public safety officer drove into the aisle of the storage center, located in Farr West. A few seconds later, another officer eased in from the opposite direction.

"I knew then they were there for me," said Strank, who earns his living as a security guard. "I just put my hands where they could see them."

The problem, it turned out, was the nature of what Strank was removing from storage. In Strank's truck bed were three fake skeletons, props for Strankenstein's Zombie Prom. Strank and wife Trish founded the event as a fundraiser for Utah Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. The fifth annual event, the last before the prom leaves Ogden for Salt Lake City, is scheduled for Sept. 7 at Union Station. For full details -- to attend or just to corroborate Strank's story -- visit www.utahzombies.com.

"Gotta love it when you're getting ready for Zombie Prom and someone calls the cops and reports you for pulling a corpse out of your storage shed," Shrank posted later on his Facebook page.

Strank said one officer got out of his truck and approached.

"He said, 'Whatcha got there?' and I said, 'It's fake. I am just weird.' He took a look at the skeletons and could tell they weren't real. He laughed, and he said, 'Yep, you're weird.'"

Strank said he believes the officers were from the Weber County Sheriff's office, but that office said its officers did not answer such a call.

Strank said the three faux skeletons are medical grade, and made out of plastic and held together with screws and bolts. For party purposes, Strank "zombified" the trio with Latex, cotton and pantyhose.

After attending prom for five years running, the skeletons do look a little worse for wear, Strank said.

"They are starting to look a little beat up," he said.

Strank finds the whole episode amusing, and doesn't blame officers for responding to a "body call."

"They were just doing their job," he said.

Strank said public safety officers also stopped him two years ago while he was driving his truck with a prop coffin in the back. It probably goes with the territory, he said.

So, did the elderly tipsters also circle back to check on Strank?

"Nope," he said. "They didn't come around again."

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