Almost two months after its disappearance, the statue that was stolen from McKinley Library lobby has been found by Sacramento Police Department.
The whimsical statue – which is titled “Journeys of the Imagination” and depicts a boy balancing on a paper airplane – was found “absolutely pristine” by police officers Wednesday night in El Dorado Hills, according to Capt. James Beezley.
“All I can say is we’re so excited,” said Lisa Schmidt, co-founder of Friends of East Sacramento, which manages the clubhouse where the library is located. “I had pretty much given up hope.”
Ordinarily, there isn’t a high chance that reported stolen items will later be recovered, especially two months later, Beezley said. But given the local media attention and the statue’s unique look, he said he was “crossing my fingers” that the investigation would lead to a happy ending.
“We had a couple false leads (and) it got frustrating the closer we got,” Beezley said. “This is such a unique piece. … It’s not going to go unnoticed.”
No one has been arrested in connection with the stolen statue, Beezley said. But police are actively investigating the location where the statue was found to determine whether other stolen property is on site and could possibly lead to an arrest, he added.
After the theft, Friends of East Sacramento started a fundraising campaign for a replacement sculpture, which brought in about $3,000 in donations from the community, Schmidt said. The original piece was purchased for $6,995 in 2008.
“I think our community … had felt, like us, (that) it wasn't going to come back and we needed to move forward,” Schmidt said.
A new sculpture had already been ordered, Schmidt said, but when police told them they had a possible lead, the organization “asked the artist to stop the presses, so to speak.” Those who donated will get their money back, Schmidt said.
Police are set to return the sculpture to its home in the clubhouse’s lobby Wednesday, Schmidt said. The Friends of East Sacramento isn’t taking any chances this time, and plans to install security cameras soon.