David Lauderdale

Googly eyes are popping up in Beaufort County. Don’t worry, retired FBI is on case

City of Savannah says #googlyeyebandit is no laughing matter, but Facebook can’t stop

The City of Savannah posted on Facebook about a monument that was defaced with googly eyes earlier this week. While the city was hoping to find the culprit, most commenters aren't taking it seriously — and have dubbed the person the #googlyeyebandit.
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The City of Savannah posted on Facebook about a monument that was defaced with googly eyes earlier this week. While the city was hoping to find the culprit, most commenters aren't taking it seriously — and have dubbed the person the #googlyeyebandit.

Harbor Island, someone has googly eyes for you.

But retired FBI agent Doug Fender is on the case.

Doug lives on Harbor Island, which clings precariously to the shifting shores of the Atlantic Ocean by the Hunting Island State Park.

And he reports that the crime wave of googly eyes being attached to stuff where googly eyes clearly do not belong has rapidly spread from Savannah to the Lowcountry of Beaufort County.

It started earlier this month when someone put googly eyes on the statue of Revolutionary War hero Nathanael Greene in Savannah’s Johnson Square.

Then the City of Savannah in its infinite wisdom turned the prank into a tidal wave by posting an eye-catching photo of old Nathanael with googly eyes on Facebook. It quickly had 3,000 likes, 11,000 comments and 38,000 shares.

And quicker than you could get your own eyes unstuck from rolling back in your head, the old G-man is saying, “That person has probably invaded Harbor Island.”

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Googly eyes have been spotted on a pumpkin that had been minding its own business, shivering in the nippy sea air atop a fall display of hay bales.

And then there were googly eyes on utility boxes.

They have even been seen on a living, breathing Goldendoodle named Boone, visiting the Fenders from Mount Airy, North Carolina.

You crime dogs out there will recognize Mount Airy as the real version of the fictional Mayberry, where Boone would have been trained by none other than Sheriff Andy Taylor.

Even Deputy Barney Fife could see that Harbor Island has got to nip this in the bud.

What does the FBI know?

“I’m not going to admit to anything,” Doug said. “As soon as you say something, trying to be helpful, they’ll show up at your door with handcuffs.”

But he said the modus operandi of this perpetrator is obviously to be a copycat criminal.

And if the modus operandi of the city had been to address true crime and not stir everyone up to torment them to death, this case could have been solved by Barney Fife, or even Otis the town drunk.

Doug has traded in his gum shoes for gum flip-flops, but he knows this:

“If one were to try to find googly eyes, one would probably have to drive all the way to the Michaels craft store in Bluffton.

“One cannot find them at Walmart or the Rose’s Discount Store next to West Marine in Port Royal.”

Googly eyes have popped up in other places, some of it egged on by the “Googly Eyes All Over Savannah” event and the Facebook page, “K Billy’s Super Sounds of The 70s Weekend.”

Doug said he’s seen them stuck to attorney Mike Hostilo’s picture on a Savannah billboard.

Someone noted that with Nathanael Greene being such a celebrated revolutionary, he may be enjoying it more than the ancient city charged with protecting his likeness for future generations.

But on Harbor Island, googly eyes are not even raising an eyebrow.

“Sometimes I wonder if these people are not dead out here,” Doug said. “People live in a bubble out here, but they are still subject to have this crime befall them. I will catch this perpetrator.”

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