Boise, Nov. 13, 2013 - Boise Police investigators are happy a sculpted butterfly has been returned to the crisis shelter from where it was stolen. However, officers would still like to find the individuals who took the piece as well as the person who anonymously brought it back.
What Happened: The butterfly was reportedly returned and left with a note on the front steps to the shelter at North 8th and West Washington Streets sometime this morning. Shelter workers have reportedly told various media outlets the note said, "My friend's a 'drunken' idiot. I'm so sorry." The note was signed "- bystander to the great butterfly heist."
Shelter managers say they still want officers to proceed with the investigation into who damaged the sculpture and stole the butterfly.
Officers do have leads they are following in the case including fingerprints found at the scene, however, additional information would still be helpful in identifying those involved. Anyone with information on who took the butterfly or who returned it is urged to call Crime Stoppers at 343-COPS.
Boise, Nov. 12, 2013 - Boise Police are searching for three suspects in the theft of a symbolic butterfly sculpture taken late last night from a women's crisis shelter in Boise's North End.
Symbolic Sculpture: The butterfly was welded onto a larger sculpture of a woman and two children symbolizing the hope and rebirth the shelter's services represent for families in crisis. The sculpture is displayed at the corner of North 8th and West Washington Streets.
"We take people and refer people to this shelter all the time, so to see them repeatedly victimized is difficult," said Officer Zach Powell. Officer Powell of the Boise Police Patrol Division is one of the officers who has worked with the shelter on investigating the thefts since last year.
"We're doing all we can to find, not only the suspects, but the missing piece of the sculpture. The people at the shelter deserve that."
Theft occurred at 10:03 p.m. last night, Butterfly was welded on: Security video shows three men walking up to the sculpture last night at approximately 10:03 p.m. One man is seen forcibly breaking the butterfly off the sculpture by repeatedly hitting then twisting the piece until it comes apart. The three are then seen walking away southbound on 8th Street.
According to investigators, all three men are suspects in the theft until their roles in the crime can be determined.
Theft Despite Extra Security: The butterfly had been stolen in the past, most recently in May, 2012. Shelter managers have spent considerable time and money since then upgrading lighting and security around the sculpture as well as welding the butterfly in place. A local artist recreated the butterfly to replace the one stolen. The newly recreated sculpture was just rededicated last month.
Crime Stoppers: Anyone with information on the crime or possible suspects is urged to contact Crime Stoppers at 343-COPS, or log onto www.343cops.com, or text CRIMES or 274637, subject: Tip236. Tips can also be made via the Crime Stoppers Facebook Page at https://www.facebook.com/CSofSWIdaho. 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.