GAINESVILLE, Ga. — Investigators are narrowing in on a thief they say has been stealing bronze animal statues from a cemetery.
Surveillance cameras captured the suspect walking off with a couple of statues, but may have stolen many more to cash in for scrap.
Channel 2′s Tom Regan spoke with the owners of Memorial Park Cemetery in Gainesville who say they have recovered some of the statues.
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Owner Danny Faulkner says they have a collection of dozens of life-size animal statues that draws many visitors to the cemetery.
“People bring their grandkids, their kids out to play on the statuary,” Faulkner said.
They say they call it Noah’s Ark and was started by the previous owners of the cemetery.
Surveillance cameras recently captured a man stealing a pair of donkeys, but they believe he’s taken as many as 18 of their statues.
They say the original value of the statues would total thousands, but if sold for scrap, they would only be worth a fraction of that.
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“They have passed laws where you can’t just pick this up and take it to a scrap yard,” Faulkner said.
Of the 18 statues that have turned their bronze legs into real ones and walked off, Faulkner says they have gotten four of them back.
“It would be great to get them all back,” he told Regan. “Hopefully, he didn’t cut them up for scrap.”
Faulkner says it’s deplorable that someone would want to take away part of a display that brings joy to young and old.
“Anybody who would steal from a cemetery is pretty low-bred. That’s about as low as you can get,” he said.
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Investigators have issued warrants for the statue thief, but it’s unclear if he has been arrested.
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