Man Charged For Stealing Jackie Robinson Statue To Sell For Scrap

Jackie Robinson statue stolen from park

Photo: Wichita Police Department

Authorities in Kansas announced they have charged a suspect in connection with the theft and destruction of a Jackie Robinson statue from Garvey Park in Witchita.

The Witchita Police Department said that 45-year-old Ricky Alderete was charged with felony theft, aggravated criminal damage to property, and making false information. He was taken into custody earlier in the month in connection with an unrelated case.

Investigators said that Alderete likely planned to sell metal from the bronze statue for scrap. The torched remains of the statue were found in a trashcan at a different park.

"The investigation has not revealed any evidence indicating this was a hate-motivated crime," Lieutenant Aaron Moses said. "Instead, we believe this theft was motivated by the financial gain of scrapping common metal."

Officials said that the investigation remains ongoing, and more arrests are expected.

"Our detectives remain committed to gathering information to identify and charge all individuals involved in the theft and destruction of the Jackie Robinson statue,"

Since the statue was stolen, people have donated nearly $300,000 to have it replaced. However, Major League Baseball said it would pay for the statue to be rebuilt.

The money raised will instead go to support League 42, the non-profit organization that had the statue commissioned.

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