Police say a 45-year-old man has been arrested for stealing a Jackie Robinson statue without a race motive

On Tuesday, police announced the arrest of a 45-year-old man on charges of stealing a bronze coin Jackie Robinson The statue was later found dismantled and burned.

The man had been taken into custody earlier in an unrelated case and was charged Monday with multiple charges, including aggravated criminal damage to property, Wichita Police Lt. Aaron Moses said. Moses said he was “pretty confident it’s not a race-related crime.” He said the motive appeared to be financial.

The thieves cut the bronze statue off its base Last month In a park in Wichita, Kansas. Only the statue’s feet remain in McAdams Park, where about 600 children play in a youth baseball league called the 42 League, for which it is named. Robinson The uniform number for the Brooklyn Dodgers, with whom they broke the major league color barrier in 1947.

Fire crews found the burned remains of the statue five days later Later while responding to a trash can shooting in another park about 7 miles (11.27 kilometers) away. A truck believed to have been used in the robbery was previously found abandoned, and police said the theft of the statue, valued at $75,000, was captured on surveillance video.

Donations have poured in, approaching $300,000, said Bob Lutz, executive director of the Little League nonprofit that commissioned the statue.

Some of the additional money raised could also enhance some of its programs and facilities, Lutz said. In April, the group opened the Leslie Road Education Center, which includes an indoor baseball facility and an educational lab.

Lutz, whose friend, artist John Parsons, made the statue before his death, said the mold was still workable and he expected a replacement could be installed within months.

Robinson played for the Kansas City Monarchs of the Negro League before joining the Brooklyn Dodgers, paving the way for generations of black American ballplayers. Not only is he considered a sporting legend, but… Civil rights icon. Robinson died in 1972.

(Tags for translation)Jackie Robinson

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