Missing Scouts statue returned as pieces of scrap metal, dumped into buckets
NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - What was left of a bronze and life-sized Boy Scout statue that was stolen from a center in North Charleston was returned in pieces Wednesday afternoon.
The organization reported it missing on Tuesday, discovering that it was stolen after Memorial Day Weekend.
It was brought back by investigators with the North Charleston Police Department as pieces of scrap metal to the Coastal Carolina Center, which is North Charleston’s location for the Scouts of America.
It was an estimated 500 pounds, 6 feet tall and bolted into its base.
“It definitely wasn’t one person just decided on a whim they were doing to pick it up and tow it with them,” Scout Executive Jason Smith said.
Scout leaders alerted several scrap metal businesses in the area.
That was exactly the right thing to do, according to Kim Stobles, who Live 5 News spoke with. Her husband owns B&D Metal Recyclers LLC, where the statue was discovered.
Stobles says a man attempted to resell the parts when an employee identified them as stolen and refused the sale.
The person in question ran away, and the police were called.
The North Charleston Police Department has not said if an arrest was made or how this person was connected to the case.
Smith says it goes against everything the Scouts stand for.
“There’s 12 points of Scouts Law, the first is trustworthy,” he said. “For someone to steal something that’s sort of an identifiable icon of our organization doesn’t really fit with our values as an organization. So that’s why it’s so tough for our folks.”
Whoever made off with the artwork did so without leaving a trace, according to an initial police report.
No tire tracks were discovered at the scene, and no cameras were in the nearby area to catch the culprits on video.
“It’s just another example of bad things happening in the world right now that we’d like to turn the corner and go the other direction,” president of the center Chris Staubes said.
He says it’s worth more than its weight in bronze.
“Doing the mental math on this, it’s a 500-pound bronze statue if it was melted down, if some of these places are paying .40 cents on the dollar, you’re not talking about a whole lot of money,” he said. “I mean several hundred dollars that someone may have gotten causing this type of harm.”
It’s unclear if the statue is salvageable at this point.
He estimates it could cost anywhere from $25,000 to $50,000 to replace the statue.
The statue, designed by R. Tait McKenzie, was cast in 1937 and was a cornerstone of the scout office for decades.
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