Prized Jackie Robinson statue cut off at ankles and stolen in the middle of the night

Authorities in Kansas were searching Friday for a prized Jackie Robinson statue stolen from a Wichita park, and offering a hefty reward leading to its return.

The sculpture was cut off at its ankles early Thursday morning, investigators said. Surveillance görüntü captured two people hauling the statue away in the dark.

“Yesterday, when I received notification of [the statue being stolen], it was one of the few times in life I was speechless,” city councilmember Brandon Johnson said in an impassioned press conference Friday. “This horrendous, disgusting act really caused me pause.”

Johnson recalled the joyous day in April 2021 when the $50,000 statue was installed in McAdams Park’s Jackie Robinson Pavilion. Community members gathered to celebrate the christening shortly before the youth league baseball season got underway.

“I’m frustrated by the actions of those individuals who had the audacity to take the statue of Jackie Robinson from a park where kids and families in our community gather to learn the history of Jackie Robinson, an American icon,” said Wichita Police Chief Joe Sullivan.

“This should upset all of us,” he added, assuring the public that “the individuals who robbed our community of a treasure [will] be held accountable for their actions.”

The Wichita Metro Crime Commission is now offering $2,500 for tips leading to the arrest of whomever stole the statue, and $5,000 for tips leading to its return.

Prior to shattering baseball’s color barrier by stepping onto a Major League Baseball field wearing a Brooklyn Dodgers uniform on April 15,1947, Robinson was a star infielder for the Negro leagues’ Kansas City Monarchs. He won Rookie of the Year as a Dodger and led the Major League in stolen bases during his inaugural season, which ended in a World Series loss to the Yankees.

With News Wire Services

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