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Flamingos taken from south Tulsa birthday surprise

Posted at 5:28 AM, Apr 23, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-23 13:07:32-04

TULSA — Hundreds of plastic flamingos meant to make a child's birthday special ended up being taken.

Someone made off with a little girl's birthday gift, just hours after the community had set up the surprise outside her home.

This was the Reese Phillips' first birthday without her father, Ryan Phillips, a former Tulsa firefighter that passed away a few weeks ago.

The pink flamingos were a surprise birthday gift meant to cheer her up but were taken just hours after they were put up.

RELATED STORY: Daughter of late Tulsa firefighter receives memorable birthday surprise

On her way to school, dozens of neighbors and friends lined South Yale with flamingos, her favorite animal.

But by the time she came home from school, all of the flamingos along 111th Street were gone.

"We're just so proud of her family and who her dad was, and we just love them tremendously," said neighbor Bridgette Nehring. "So I think this is just what she needs to know that people love her and that we're in here to make it happen."

Reese's dad Ryan died of natural causes three weeks ago.

He had been with the Tulsa Fire Department since 2005.

Neighbors are hoping the flamingos turn up. They said they will gladly pick them up wherever they are, no questions asked.

City of Tulsa's Neighborhood Inspection Supervisor, Tim Cartner, said he does not believe anyone in his department picked them up.

“I am also not aware of any complaints or enforcement actions related to this matter. Generally, this type of display is allowed without permits but may not be placed within any rights of way. I’m pretty confident that our sign volunteers would refer something like this to me, rather than remove them. We cover this extensively during training. If you find out any more information or need me to investigate further, please let me know.”

We reached out to the homeowners associations for neighborhoods along 111th Street. They planned to email their members to see if anyone picked them up.

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