Arrest Made After Stolen Jackie Robinson Statue Found ‘Dismantled and Burned’ Inside Kansas Park (UPDATE)

The statue was owned by League 42, a youth baseball league in Wichita, Kansas named in honor of Jackie Robinson.

(Photo by Warnecke/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)

UPDATED 2/13, 3:49 p.m. ET: A 45-year-old man is in police custody in connection to the destroyed Jackie Robinson statue in Wichita, Kansas.

The Wichita Police Department announced on Tuesday that Ricky Alderete was arrested and charged with felony theft, aggravated criminal damage to property, making false information, and identity theft. His bond is set at $150,000.

The investigation led police to find out that Alderete wanted to exchange the metal scraps of the statue for money. Police added there may be other individuals involved in the crime, and believe Alderete was not motivated by hate.

"Our detectives remain committed to gathering information to identify and charge all individuals involved in the theft and destruction of the Jackie Robinson statue," police said in a statement. "The WPD extends its gratitude to the community for their support, patience, and information related to this case."

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Jackie Robinson statue was found destroyed and burned in a park in south Wichita, Kansas according to local police.

The Wichita Fire Department was called on Tuesday morning to put out a trash can fire inside Garvey Park. As the fire was extinguished, firefighters found remnants of the Jackie Robinson statue inside the trash can. Police also stated that the statue is irreparable and that pieces are still missing.

The statue belonged to League 42, a youth baseball league named in honor of the famous baseball player who wore the number 42. The statue was stolen last Wednesday and police announced on Monday that investigators were able to find and recover the truck allegedly used in the crime. 

“This was a heartbreaking discovery this morning,” Wichita City Council Member Brandon Johnson told KSNW. “I hate to see that the statue was not in one piece, but I do want everyone to know that we are undeterred in making sure that that statue gets rebuilt and put back there for our community, for League 42, for the young people. That symbol of hope will only be gone for a short time.”

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Wichita Police Chief Joe Sullivan stated that police are determined to catch the culprits, whose motive for destroying the statue remains unknown.

“It’s disheartening to see the remnants of the statue, the disgraceful way in which it’s been disrespected but the other side of that is, this is a direct indication of the pressure our investigators are putting on the perpetrators that committed this act,” Sullivan said.

According to The New York Times, police have already interviewed over 100 people in connection with the case.

“For those of you who are in any way involved in this, that means whether you are involved with stealing the statue, whether or not you accepted the statue, you were part of the destruction of the statue, it is only a matter of time," Sullivan continued." It would be in your best interest to simply turn yourself in, come forward, admit your part in this, and I’m confident that the DA will consider that. But, either way, we will be arresting several people for what they’ve done to our community.”

League 42 started a GoFundMe page to raise money to replace the statue. So far the organization has raised $133,760 and are trying to hit $150,000.

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