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Stolen Jackie Robinson Statue Found Burned & Suspect Arrested

Authorities announced the arrest of Ricky Alderete, 45, in connection with the theft of a life-size #JackieRobinson statue from a Kansas park. Charged with felony theft, aggravated criminal damage to property, identity theft, and providing false information, Alderete is suspected of stealing the statue, later found burnt and destroyed, possibly for its metal value. 

Although no evidence suggests a hate crime, investigators are searching for additional suspects. Security footage captured at least three individuals involved in the theft, leading to Alderete's arrest. Police assure the community of further arrests, emphasizing zero tolerance for such crimes. 

The incident, deemed an unfortunate testament to cultural disrespect, prompts reflection on prevention measures for similar acts in the future. The statue's destruction disappoints locals, especially given its symbolic importance, commemorating Robinson's groundbreaking achievements in baseball. 

Erected in 2021 with the support of Wichita's League 42, a youth baseball organization honoring Robinson, efforts are underway to replace the statue, estimated to cost $75,000. Despite the setback, League 42 remains committed to honoring Robinson's legacy and plans to unveil a new tribute later this year.

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Link: NBCNews


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