Authorities in Wichita, Kansas, are searching for thieves who cut down and carted away a life-size statue of Jackie Robinson. The Wichita Police Department said the shocking theft occurred just after midnight on Thursday (January 25) at McAdams Park.
Surveillance video captured two men cutting the statue at its ankles and loading it into a truck.
"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 and our community gathered to learn the history of Jackie Robinson, an American icon, and play the game of baseball. This should upset all of us," Wichita Police Chief Joe Sullivan said.
"What troubles me even more is that the theft occurred just before the beginning of February, which marks the start of Black History Month. Our city wants the statue returned," Sullivan added.
Local officials asked the thieves to return the statue and promised they would not ask any questions.
"If the criminals that took this, if they would just bring it back, no questions asked, we'd move on. And repair this statue," Wichita Park and Recreation Director Troy Houtman said.
"If you have to wait for the cops to show up, the moment passed. If someone wants to recognize how stupid this was and correct their actions, come forward right now," Sedgwick County District Attorney Marc Bennett warned.
Crimestoppers is offering a $2,500 reward for any information that leads to an arrest and an additional $5,000 if the statue is returned.