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Iconic statue stolen from Miami library is found in Joplin - KOAM TV 7

Iconic statue stolen from Miami library is found in Joplin

Updated:

A bronze statue of a little boy will soon return home to the Miami, Oklahoma library after it was sold for scrap metal in Joplin.

The statue was stolen overnight last week from the front of the Miami Public Library.  But thanks to the sharp eyes of a scrap metal worker the statue was recognized and recovered.

The statue owes its rescue to Skip McBride, a worker for CMC Recycling in Joplin but lives in the Miami area.

When the statue was sold to CMC this week for scrap metal McBride says he knew something wasn't right, and called the police.

"It's pretty weird, I've never seen nothing like that," says McBride.  "We see weird stuff but nothing like that."

Authorities say they're investigating the person who brought the statue to CMC although he claims he found it in a field.

The statue of a little boy has sat on a bench outside the Miami library since 1997.  On January 24 someone took him from his stoop and the library's director says its return was unexpected.

"Everyone is thrilled," says Marcia Jones, Director of the Miami Public Library.  "I've been telling everyone I know, I've posted it on Facebook even, and the reaction was the same.  We never thought we'd see it again.  We thought it would just be scrap metal somewhere."

Stealing for scrap metal is fairly common according to Miami Police Chief George Haralson, especially since most places exchange metal for cash.

The little boy was sold for a little over $200.  It's replacement was more than $2,000.

"It seems that scrap metal crimes are one of the more popular ones - easy, low risk, high gain," says Chief Haralson.

Chief Haralson hopes to return the boy home in the next few weeks.  However, he says he is also working with the city to find a better way to strap him down.

"We really as a community were pretty shocked and upset that our little boy had been kidnapped off of Main Street and so we weren't going to leave too many stones unturned in our effort to recover him," says Chief Haralson.

While the boy seems to be comfortable at his temporary home in the Miami police station, the library says they are excited to see him home.

Since the statue was discovered in Joplin, the Miami Police Department is working with Joplin police on the case.

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