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Apr 11, 11:04 AM EDT

Caltech Students Rescue Icon Swiped by MIT

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PASADENA, Calif. (AP) -- Caltech students now have their prized campus icon back - a 3-ton cannon that was swiped by pranksters from MIT.

Students from the California Institute of Technology flew to Massachusetts and conducted the rescue on Monday, using ropes and a handmade dolly to haul the wood-wheeled cannon to a flatbed truck.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology students had swiped the cannon last month as payback for pranks that Caltech played last year - including handing out T-shirts to hundreds of incoming MIT freshmen that said "MIT" on the front and ".... because not everyone can go to Caltech" on the back.

Caltech students headed to Massachusetts over the weekend and planned to quietly truck off the 111-year-old cannon in the early morning hours while the MIT campus slumbered.

But the Monday morning rescue mission didn't unfold as planned. They were delayed by MIT campus police, who demanded to see "proof of ownership" of the cannon.

Ultimately the Caltech effort was a success, but the pranks between the two schools are expected to continue.

"I really like the rivalry," said MIT freshman Jon Spaulding. "I'm looking forward to the future and what new pranks come up."

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