Wichita Community Stunned by Theft of Jackie Robinson Statue


The city of Wichita, Kansas, was shocked on Friday morning when it was revealed that a beloved statue of Jackie Robinson had been stolen from McAdams Park. As the local police department searches for the thieves, the incident resonates far beyond the actual criminal act and has struck a chord with those who value the cultural and historical significance of the statue and the man it represents.

The theft took place just after midnight on Thursday. Surveillance footage showed the thieves making off with the statue.

The City of Wichita has reported the theft of Jackie Robinson’s statue from McAdams Park, the City of Wichita Government posted on Facebook Thursday.

The statue symbolizes Robinson’s groundbreaking role as the first African American in Major League Baseball, the city said. It was forcefully removed Wednesday night, causing damages estimated at $75,000, according to the City of Wichita Government.

A photo in the city’s Facebook post shows the statue was cut off just above its feet.

Surveillance video provided by police to KSN that was captured near the scene appears to show a truck circling the area around midnight. The video then appears to show several individuals congregating near the statue. These alleged suspects appear to detach the statue from its base, appear to load it onto allegedly the same truck, and appear to flee the scene. They allegedly departed before 12:20 AM, according to KSN.

Wichita Police Chief Joe Sullivan released a statement on the theft:

I’m frustrated by the actions of those individuals who had the audacity to take the statue of Jackie Robinson from a park where kids and families and our community gathered to learn the history of Jackie Robinson, an American icon, and play the game of baseball. This should upset all of us.

The theft occurred just days before the start of Black History Month, a fact that has not been lost on the community. So far, the motive for the theft is unknown.

Jackie Robinson is known for shattering the race barrier in Major League Baseball after the Brooklyn Dodgers brought him on to the team in 1947. He was often subjected to racism during his athletic career by people who did not want the sport to be integrated. Nevertheless, he overcame the obstacles and backlash against his presence in the league and stood out as a remarkable player.

Later, Robinson’s influence stretched far beyond the baseball diamond. He became a vocal advocate for civil rights and social change. He was a prominent voice in the Republican Party and was known for his commitment to fighting for equality and justice.

The local Crimestoppers organization has offered up to $2,500 for tips leading to an arrest and $5,000 for the recovery of the statue.

See also:

Watch: Ken Griffey Jr. Shares the Fun Story Behind Why MLB Celebrates Jackie Robinson Day on Their Jerseys

Las Vegas News Magazine

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