Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Pair nabbed nabbing sign from historic Sambos site

Lionel Manners and Sarah Harris cited and released for alleged theft of artwork and vandalism at the former Sambos restaurant. (photo courtesy of Christopher Donner)

Saturday morning Chris Donner, the owner of the former Sambos restaurant, was alerted by his security system that an intruder was on the property.

Two people were spotted allegedly attempting to steal artwork from the exterior.

The artwork consisted of a hand painted tiger originally commissioned and installed by former owner Cary Moore.

Video still of suspect removing artwork. (photo courtesy of Christopher Donner)
Shadow where artwork was removed.

Video footage shows Lionel Manners allegedly removing a wooden painting of a tiger carrying pancakes from the south exterior wall of the building. 

Pair allegedly unable to fit the “historical ephemera” into a car. (photo courtesy of Christopher Donner)

Footage then shows Manners and Sarah Harris attempting to place the item into the back of his tiny vehicle. 


Stashing artwork (photo courtesy of Christopher Donner)


At this point, says Donner, “…when it didn’t fit into their vehicle, they stashed it out back and came back later with 2 vehicles…We called the Lincoln City non emergency and I personally met with them (Lincoln City police) at the little Sambos property and we reviewed the footage.

The police then issued a warrant out for both Sarah and her accomplice.

The officer left, I left and then within about 30 min Sarah returned with another vehicle that her accomplice was driving and she drove her own vehicle as well back to the little Sambos property to recover the stashed piece of artwork.

Our on site security stood in front of Sarah’s accomplice’s vehicle blocking them from leaving while the police were on their way. At this time, I pulled in behind them and also immediately called 911.

“They were both cited and released with a pending court date. We’re pressing charges.” said Donner.

*(Note, Homepage has received notice that the pair were charged with the following: Theft 3 Trespass 2 and Criminal Mischief.)

He also added,  “When confronted Sarah acted as if she had done nothing wrong claiming nobody was there so she figured it was OK.” 

Bio of Harris from Oregon Historical Society Quarterly (courtesy Christopher Donner)

In an ironic twist, a search of Harris’ online profile shows that she is the Rose Tucker Fellow with the Oregon Historical Society Quarterly where on their bio of her they state, “In her free time, Sarah takes road trips to small towns across the Pacific Northwest to explore local history (and add to her ever growing collection of historical ephemera and tchotchkes).”

Donner added, “If they really wanted it legitimately my phone number was on the front door.”

Don Williams
Don Williams
Don Williams serves as publisher and editor of The Lincoln City Homepage.


  1. Thank you for your photos and great article. I am just amazed that they looked like they did nothing wrong. Glad they were caught. Am amazed that people think there is nothing wrong with theft.

  2. Wow you really got upset about them wanting to use the art you seemingly didn’t care for anymore. It’s art, people are supposed to enjoy it. Instead you think she’s a bad person for wanting art from an abandoned property? Jeez.

    • It is NOT an abandoned building! The owners are planning to keep the art as part of the new business.. as a way to give back to the community and keep the historical value of the property! There are construction crews there literally every day- what part of their presence screams “abandoned”?! These people were straight up stealing. They were cautiously looking around, making sure nobody was looking! They are not innocent, and their court date is proof that the law feels the same way about theft. Nice try though.

    • Wow is right. Really? So it’s ok for them to steal something…this is what’s wrong with our society. No ethics, no responsibility and no common sense. You’re right. Jeez.

    • It belonged to HIM. He has every right to be upset, and press charges.
      Would you have went and stolen it? Let us all know so we can all know what kind of integrity you have.

    • The property, in use or not, is still someone else’s property! What gives her the right to take anything? If it’s there for people to enjoy, how will it be enjoyed hidden in her house/garage? JEEZ.

    • Not sure how you were raised, but I was brought up with the lesson that one never takes what is not theirs. It’s as simple as that. If you want something that isn’t yours, do the work to find out who owns it, and ask whether you can purchase it. Maybe the owners will just give it to you, or offer to sell it. Other than that, keep your hands off. That would be violating someone else’s personal property rights, and would be stealing if you took the object of your desire just because you wanted to. Theft is theft.

    • If it’s not yours, you don’t TOUCH IT- not the car, not the sign, not the OPINION of another, do you have the right to influence or alter. What a blithe way you have of excusing your own responsibility and lack of respect for something that shouldn’t even be an issue or an idea. It ain’t yours is all that should occur to you.

    • They were straight up stealing.
      Just because something is sitting vacant for the time being doesn’t mean it’s up for grabs!
      *and a member of the historic society! ‍♀️

  3. This property was purchased legally, Mary and there is a phone number on the door to call for information. IT IS STEALING and that is punishable by law. The new owners are pressing charges. Fantastic.

  4. Sooo, whenever a property is vacant, you can just go help yourself to anything you can see? The Connie Hanson garden in LC experienced this sort of vandalism of rhododendrons after the owner’s death. Shame on Sarah Harris and those who see nothing wrong in this manner of “collecting” someone else’s property.

  5. So she is a historian that travels small towns and adds to her collection. How many things did she steal to add to her collection in other towns? Maybe someone should check it out!

  6. assuming is okay to steal is WRONG.We are good people, care for and look after our community, neighbors and families. I am glad you were found.

  7. Hey Marie,
    You got anything nice in your yard? Why don’t you give these thieves your address maybe they can add to their collection from your property.
    Something tells me that would be different if it was yours?
    Someone should contact Phoenix Museum and see what is missing from there.

  8. I think she is a p*ss poor representative of the historical society..I do hope they remove her and look into her “collection”, im sure there are alot of folks that wonder where their collectibles went. I classify them right along with all the thiefs and vandals that have been hitting the PNW..trash, all of them..I loved Sambos in my younger days and I live Lincoln City and our beaches and have many happy memories of being there..our coastal cities and towns should be safeguarded, not ripped off!

  9. Sarah, what is petty theft or felony theft going to look like on your resume’? And how long would that little collectible been in your inventory until you got a good offer for it. Interesting approach for denying accountability.

  10. Thanks, Don, for the informative article and further info on Sarah. Although this isn’t the crime of the century, LC has seen an uptick in serious crimes these last few years (bank robberies, drug trafficking). Glad to see the majority here think what these two did was wrong. People in our community need to be more vigilant too.

  11. What is the background on Lionel Manners? He was taking (stealing) the art pieces too? Glad that they both got caught red handed. Thou shalt not steal.

  12. “When confronted Sarah acted as if she had done nothing wrong claiming nobody was there so she figured it was OK.” Her way of thinking I suppose would be that if someone’s home was vacant while they went shopping, she could go in and take what she wanted. Hmmmmmm workers have been there daily as a new business is starting to progress.

  13. How anyone could possibly think it was okay to take anything from that property just blows my mind. Nobody has bothered any of that property, not even the homeless that tend to be in that area. It is a Lincoln City landmark; I still see tourists going up to take pictures with the Bigfoot and the Tiger (well, not him anymore)! One would assume somebody who is a member of a historical society would definitely know better. Shameful behavior.

  14. She won’t be working at museums or historical societies anymore while this is online. Way to fireball your career. Sheesh.

  15. That building is an historical site! So is the art work. It’s a regional icon. This Sarah aka thief, is with the Oregon Historic Qtrly! She knows it had value. She knows it wasn’t hers. Clearly she goes around gathering things like thus for her personal gain. Get a clue – stealing is stealing. Just goes to show you that one can be a scumbag, idiot, liar, thief and so stupid it takes 3 tries to figure out the artwork won’t fit, but hey someone thought she should receive a Master’s degree.
    It’s ridiculous to have to say “alleged” when caught on tape making multiple attempts to STEAL this artwork that was attached to a building, and she admitted that she thought it was ok to just take it. They should be charged with stealing an historic object. There is probable cause to look at her entire collection because she may have other stolen historic property.

  16. Thank you, Bobbi. I agree and can not let this crime go. I hope it is not covered up and not published when her day in court is given. This lovely piece of art has been an icon in this small community for years. Many of my family have stood in front of it for photos. A wonderful memory and sweet story as in the older generation. They are both thieves.

  17. As a child our family would like to visit the coast. Traveled from McMinnville several times each year. Would nearly always stop at Sambo’s before continuing on down the coastline. A very fond memory of such a nice historical landmark. This person “thief” along with her partner in crime should both be charged to the fullest extent of the law. I also agree with the fine citizens of Lincoln City, she needs to be checked into ,her residence and any storage facility she may have access to where possible other artifacts could be stached away for sale! Losing her position in the historical world forever, after the incarceration for the crime!

  18. Sounds like she had already taken so many historical items from different places that she justified her actions as not stealing, but ‘preserving them for future display’. Well…her career will have a hard time recovering from this one. Sarah has shown she can’t be trusted, and feels ‘entitled’. She should resign from her role with the Oregon Historical Society. NOW.


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