San Francisco

NBA's Warriors to Replace ‘Red Panda's' Stolen $25K Unicycle

The NBA's Golden State Warriors will buy the popular half-time entertainer known as the Red Panda Acrobat a custom-made, $25,000 unicycle to replace the one stolen from San Francisco's airport.

The team notified Rong Niu's agent of its plan to replace the 7-foot unicycle the acrobat uses in her plate-juggling routine at halftime shows across the country. Agent Pat Figley says the unicycle will be built in China.

“The Red Panda is legendary and absolutely loved and adored by everyone, especially our fans and season tickets holders," Warriors President and COO Rick Welts said. "With a new, custom made unicycle we are glad that we could do our small part to help this great tradition continue.”

Police released surveillance photos from San Francisco International Airport's baggage claim area showing a man wheeling away black bags containing the unicycle. Niu has had the unicycle stolen Jan. 24 for 30 years.

The suspect walked into the baggage claim area and stole the suitcase from Carousel 5, police said.

Niu, a San Francisco resident, was featured on "America's Got Talent" a few years ago.

She is a regular performer for the Warriors, the Los Angeles Clippers and Los Angeles Lakers.

When word got out that her unicycle was stolen, basketball teams began spreading the word to help find the culprit.

The Westchester Knicks tweeted this: "If you give Red Panda back her unicycle, that’ll be the end of it. We will not look for you."

The suspect appears to be a white man with red hair in a ponytail and a full beard. He was last seen wearing a white, long-sleeved shirt, gray or dark-colored pants and black Skechers shoes, police said.

Anyone who can identify the suspect or locates the unicycle is asked to contact the SFPD Airport Cargo Officers at (650)-821-7530.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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