Boise Police Department
News Release

Michael F. Masterson
Chief of Police


Contact: Lynn Hightower
Communications Director
570-6180

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Stolen Butterfly from WCA Sculpture - Suspect Photos

UPDATE: The butterfly stolen from the WCA sculpture was annonymously returned.

UPDATE: April 4, 11:00 a.m. - Boise Police have just been informed by employees of the WCA that the butterfly stolen March 24th from the scultpure at N. 8th and W. Washington Streets was apparently returned overnight.

A WCA employee says a citizen walking his dog, who had seen the story in the local news yesterday, pointed it out to the employee as she arrived to work about 9:00 this morning. The butterfly was apparently left laying near a bench close the shelter's entry.

At this point the investigation into who took the butterfly remains open.
 
Boise Police, including the lead detective on the case would like to thank the local media for sharing the story of the theft and ongoing investigation. Several citizens did call into Crime Stoppers following reports on the case. Again, those leads remain under investigation.
 
Officers would also like to thank the WCA for their help and cooperation. Members of the BPD are happy to see the butterfly returned to this very special piece of public art.
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Boise, April 3, 2012 - Boise Police are hoping citizens can help officers identify several suspects who appear connected to the theft of part of a valuable sculpture outside a Boise domestic violence shelter.

Boise Police were notified of the theft late last month. The focal point of a sentimental sculpture, a butterfly was stolen the afternoon of Saturday, March 24th. The sculpture sat on the corner of N. 8th and W. Washington Streets in front of the Women's and Children's Alliance. 

WCA Statue"This sculpture has been a symbol of hope to the people who've sought shelter at the WCA," said Sgt. Randy Buzzini of the Boise Police Property Crimes unit. "Our goal is to get the butterfly returned and have that image restored for all those families in crisis who come to the WCA for help."

What Happened: By viewing security tapes of the incident, it appears the butterfly was taken March 24th at approximately 4:26 p.m. by three young males and a female. The group appears to be junior high or high school age. As seen on the video stills, one young male walks right up to the butterfly on the sculpture, removes it and places it in a backpack carried by the female - the individual with the ponytail. All four individuals then continue walking north on N. 8th Street.

Previous Vandalism: The sculpture had been damaged, also by a young male walking earlier that same morning between 1:00 and 2:00 a.m. according to images from the security video. The young male was accompanied by two other males, broke the butterfly off the sculpture and left it lying on the ground. Later that morning, the butterfly had been placed back in it's rightful position on the sculpture, although not secured. The theft occurred that same afternoon. It's unknown at this time if the individual who damaged the butterfly is the same person who later stole it.

Value: The butterfly portion of the sculpture is valued at approximately $1,000 - $2,000. The WCA purchased the materials for the entire sculpture. The work to create it was donated by the Boise Sculptor's Guild.

The victim, the Women's and Children's Alliance has posted on their Facebook page they just want the butterfly sculpture back and no questions will be asked if it's returned promptly.

Suspect Information: Anyone with information on who the suspects may be is urged to contact Boise Police via Crime Stoppers at 343-COPS. Citizens can also log onto www.343cops.com, or text CRIMES (or 274637), subject: Tip236. Tips can remain anonymous. A reward of up to $1,000 is offered by Crime Stoppers for information leading to the arrest of criminal suspects.

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