Wednesday, November 09, 2011
Police and politicians were scratching their heads Monday over why someone tried to topple a Ronald Reagan memorial bronze from its spot in a Newport Beach park.
According to authorities, someone lassoed the statue and hitched it to a pickup early Sunday. The theft was foiled when the rope or chain slipped off as the pickup pulled away. A witness alerted the police.
The statue, valued at about $50,000, was left leaning from its foundation. It was later removed from its base.
Newport Beach Police Department spokeswoman Kathy Lowe said authorities were looking for a man in a tan pickup. No other suspect description was available.
Police classified the weekend crime as an act of vandalism. Authorities said they didn't know if the person wanted to actually steal the statue or to make a comment on the nation's 40th president. Because of skyrocketing metal prices, copper thefts have surged nationwide. Copper is the main metal used in bronze work.