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Man arrested in Jackie Robinson statue theft; wanted to sell for scrap, police say

Jackie Robinson

WICHITA, Kan. — A man has been charged, accused of stealing a bronze statue of Jackie Robinson.

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Police in Wichita, Kansas, said the statue was cut from its base at the ankles to be sold for scrap metal, The Associated Press reported.

“The investigation has not revealed any evidence indicating this was a hate-motivated crime,” Lt. Aaron Moses said, according to The Wichita Eagle. “Instead, we believe this theft was motivated by the financial gain of scrapping common metal.”

Ricky Angel Alderete, 45, was taken into custody in an unrelated case but is now facing aggravated criminal damage to property charges among others, connected to the statue theft.

The statue had stood until Jan. 25 in a park used by the youth baseball league called League 42, named in honor of Robinson’s number with the Brooklyn Dodgers.

The statue was found days later — taken apart and burned — about 7 miles from the park., the AP reported. A truck that was believed to have been used was found abandoned.

The statue was valued at $75,000 and a GoFundMe was set up to replace it, raising more than $194,000 before being closed.

The statue was made by John Parsons before he died, but the mold Parsons used still exists and can be used to cast a new statue, the AP reported.