TEXAS CITY — A statue stolen from a Texas City park earlier this month has been recovered, police said.
A Clear Lake-area pawnshop owner said someone brought it to his store claiming it was a family heirloom. The $4,000 “Out of the Park” bronze statue depicting a boy swinging a baseball bat was recovered Wednesday after Steve Hoyland Jr., owner of Easy Cash Pawn and Jewelry, saw a news story about the missing statue.
The statue, which stood near a Little League baseball field at Godard Park, was pulled from the ground and stolen earlier this month. Police found tire marks and a yellow rope at the scene.
Several Houston TV news programs did reports after The Galveston County Daily News first reported the theft. It was a report on KTRK-TV that Hoyland said one of his managers saw that alerted him to the stolen item.
Pamela Patton, the pawnshop’s manager, said a man and woman showed up claiming they needed to get a loan on the family heirloom.
“The whole story seemed odd,” she said. “He wanted a lot of money for it, and I told him no. He left for a bit then came back to make a deal.”
She said that the couple had the statue in the back of an old truck with “a bunch of junk.”
State credit laws prohibit the company from saying how much they paid for the statue, Hoyland said. But, because pawnshops keep records of transactions, including a copy of the person’s driver’s license, the store is able to share information with police.
Texas City Police Chief Robert Burby said the pawnshop records have identified potential suspects. No arrests had been made as of Thursday.
Burby said the city took the theft personally.
“It was installed in 1999, so there are a lot of kids who grew up with that statue at the ballpark,” he said. “It symbolizes something important to this city and to Little League.
“I had a lot of people call and tell me how upset they were that the statue was stolen.”
The statue was at Tennille Fabricating being prepped for installation at the ballpark. Burby said that the statue did not appear to have been damaged except at the base where it was ripped off its pedestal at the ball fields.
Hoyland is hopeful that a reward for the arrest and eventual conviction of the thieves will help him recoup what he lost in buying the statue.
He said he plans to donate any money left over to the Texas City Little League and the Little League in the Bacliff/San Leon area where he lives.