It’s unlikely the $2,000 statue taken from Ron Flynn’s yard between Sept. 4 and Sept. 5 was snatched by an art-lover.
Flynn noted that the stumps remaining from the missing bronze sculpture were smooth at the point of separation. Flynn’s mother gave him the statue more than 15 years ago.
“I was kind of surprised (Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office) detectives didn’t come out to look at it,” Flynn said. “(The thieves) didn’t use a hacksaw — they used bolt cutters.”
Flynn brought up the theft during the Sept. 6 Siesta Key Association meeting during Sgt. Scott Osborne’s presentation on island crime trends. Flynn brought a picture of the smoothed stumps.
“What was left has no art value,” Flynn said. “If they were going to steal it for its art value, they would have saved as much of the leg as possible.”
The remaining bronze legs look more like broken copper pipes and are cut to different heights. The concrete base of the statue sits behind some bushes on Flynn’s property, which means the unknown suspect saw the cranes statue from the roadway and trespassed to retrieve it.
According to the sheriff’s office report, filed at noon Sept. 5, there were no witnesses to the crime, and there had been no further action taken. Flynn said he didn’t hear any commotion during the night.
The statute was was not the first decorative item taken from Tree Bay Lane on south Siesta Key.
Animal-shaped planters, which were designed by Apache Indians, were stolen from Flynn and his neighbors’ properties in the past.
The sheriff’s office conducted a coordinated crackdown on illegal scrapping last year. “Operation Meltdown” in August 2011 resulted in 62 arrests and recovered two stolen vehicles and 2,185 pounds of metal, according to a sheriff’s office news release. “Operation Meltdown II,” which took place in October, yielded 935 pounds of recovered metal and 18 arrests.
“Do not be mistaken. These criminals are not committing these crimes because of the economy,” said Sarasota County Sheriff Tom Knight, in a news release last year. “They are funding drug habits and addictions.”
Recent data show metal theft is down 59% countywide for the first quarter of 2012 compared with the same timeframe last year.