Boise, Sept. 24, 2012 - Boise Police once again ask citizens to take a look at surviellance photos taken last May that capture a thief stealing the butterfly off the "Taking Flight" sculpture, a symbol of hope that stands in front of a local domestic violence shelter.
"The community keeps asking if it's been recovered," said Bea Black, Executive Director of the Women's and Children's Alliance in Boise. "The butterfly is very symbolic for the work that's done here for so many families. Even if we can't find it or if it's been destroyed, we hope the person who stole it is found and held accountable."
Crime occurred overnight May 16, 2012 - The glass and bronze butterfly was stolen off the larger sculpture the night of Wednesday May 16th. The sculpture stands on the corner of N. 8th and W. Washington Streets in front of the WCA. Surveillance photos released shortly after the crime and a summer-long investigation have so far failed to turn up a suspect.
Previous Vandalism, Another Deliberate Theft: The sculpture had been damaged in late March, and was then stolen by a group of four people who appeared on surveillance footage to be teens. The suspects were never identified but the butterfly was returned annonymously and mostly in tact April 4th. The sculpture was restored by May 14th. Two days later, the symbolic butterfly was stolen again. Surveillance photos show a single individual walking directly up to the sculpture, grabbing and twisting the butterfly off the woman's hand and walking away.
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. Black says the WCA is working with the artist to restore the sculpture somehow, but they're still holding out hope the original will be found and returned.
Crime Stoppers: The theft of the butterfly remains an active ongoing investigation by Boise Police. Anyone with information on who the suspect may be is urged to contact Crime Stoppers at 343-COPS, or log onto www.343cops.com, or text CRIMES or 274637, subject: Tip236. A citizen can remain anonymous. A reward of up to $1,000 is offered by Crime Stoppers for information leading to the arrest of criminal suspects.