Jackie Robinson’s Iconic Statue Found in Ruins After Video Captured Theft

(Photo credit should read STR/AFP via Getty Images)

Mariane Angela Entertainment And News Reporter
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Only days after the statue of Jackie Robinson was stolen, authorities have found the statue burned to ashes, Wichita City Council Member Brandon Johnson said in a press conference Tuesday.

“This was a heartbreaking discovery this morning,” Johnson said, per Fox 4 Kansas City. “I hate to see that the statue was not in one piece, but I do want everyone to know that we are undeterred in making sure that that statue gets rebuilt and put back there for our community, for League 42, for the young people. That symbol of hope will only be gone for a short time.”

A GoFundMe was started to help raise funds to replace the statue. “We’re no longer looking for a complete, intact statue. We know now we need to raise money to replace it, and we will do so,” Johnson continued. The fundraiser has since raised a total of $57,000, as of this writing.

The statue symbolizes Robinson’s groundbreaking role as the first African American in Major League Baseball, the city said. It was forcefully removed causing damages estimated at $75,000, according to the City of Wichita Government. A photo in the city’s Facebook post shows the statue was cut off just above its feet.

Surveillance video provided by police to KSN that was captured near the scene appears to show a truck circling the area around midnight. The video then appears to show several individuals congregating near the statue. These alleged suspects appear to detach the statue from its base, appear to load it onto allegedly the same truck, and appear to flee the scene.

“If you have any information on this senseless and heartless crime, we ask that you submit an anonymous tip to Crime Stoppers,” the Wichita Police Department said in a Facebook statement. The department also shared photos of the alleged truck. “The truck pictured below is wanted in connection with this theft. If you know who owns or may be driving this vehicle, please contact the Wichita Police immediately.” (RELATED: Stolen ‘Weiner Man’ Statue Returned After Man Dons Hot Dog Suit)

The statue was crafted by the late artist John Parsons, according to the City of Wichita Government. The theft has deeply affected the community, particularly Bob Lutz, Executive Director of League 42, a local nonprofit baseball league, according to KSN. “It was one of his crowning achievements of a storied, long career,” Lutz informed the outlet. “I was so proud to get that up at McAdams Park. The City of Wichita was a great partner in creating the Jackie Robinson pavilion, and now it’s just been decimated. And I’m a combination of every emotion you can imagine except joy and happiness.”