Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
Jackie Robinson was a trailblazing athlete who broke the color barrier in Major League Baseball when he debuted for the Brooklyn Dodgers on April 15, 1947, changing the sport forever and positively impacting millions of lives.
Robinson has been honored with statues across the United States for his contributions to society, including Dodger Stadium, which was unveiled during the 2017 season.
A bronze statue of Robinson also stood at McAdams Park in Wichita, Kansas. However, it was stolen last week and found vandalized, via Andrew Jeong of The Washington Post:
A statue of Jackie Robinson that was stolen last week from a Wichita park was found Tuesday in a trash can, burned and dismantled.
While the Robinson statue has been recovered, it is not repairable at this time due to the extensive damage that was caused:
Describing the original statue as “not salvageable at this time,” police spokesman Andrew Ford said fire department personnel discovered “pieces” of it after they extinguished the blaze.
While the fire department investigates the possibility of arson, Ford told reporters, police are continuing their search for those who stole the statue and disposed of it, as well as for anyone who may have provided assistance.
Wichita police believe they located the pickup truck that involved in the theft, but no arrests have been made to this point:
The statue was found Thursday with only Robinson’s shoes and the base below them remaining. Everything above had been cut off and removed, police said, in a truck.
Police said Monday that they located the pickup truck believed to have been used in the theft, adding that they did not believe the vehicle was stolen. No arrests have been made in the case.
The statue of Robinson is valued at more than $75,000, but city officials say the emotional damage caused by the theft goes beyond the monetary amount.
The Wichita Metro Crime Commission is offering a $2,500 reward for information that leads to an arrest, and an additional $5,000 for a tip that leads to the recovery of the statue.
GoFundMe page set up for stolen Jackie Robinson statue
A GoFundMe page was set up to raise funds for a replacement of the Robinson statue. At press time, more than $125,000 has been raised of the $150,000 goal.
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