The Man Who Allegedly Stole and Destroyed a Jackie Robinson Statue Has Been Caught

( – Jackie Robinson was one of the best players in baseball. He was also the first black player in the 20th century to make the big leagues. A statue of the icon was recently stolen from Wichita, Kansas. Police have now made an arrest.

On January 25, vandals stole the life-size statue. The only thing that remained of it in McAdams Park were Robinson’s bronze shoes and the base. Several days later, law enforcement received a phone call from someone who said there was a fire in a trash can. When they investigated, officers found charred pieces of the statue inside. Authorities also found an abandoned truck they believe was used to steal the statue.

Wichita police have now said they arrested 45-year-old Ricky Alderete and charged him with felony theft and aggravated criminal property damage. The Associated Press reported Lt. Aaron Moses said there was no evidence that Alderete removed the statue for “hate-motivated crime.” Instead, the official said authorities believe the suspect intended to sell it for scrap metal.

Joe Sullivan, the Wichita police chief, made it clear that Alderete’s arrest was not the only one that would take place. He said it was “only the first arrest” but wouldn’t give any other details. The chief said he wasn’t going to tolerate people who steal from their community. He promised the media that he would share more details after arresting the other suspects.

The theft was captured on surveillance video. Alderete’s bond was set at $150,000. In addition to the charges related to the theft, he was also charged with making false information and identity theft related to an October 2022 incident that involved a pawn ticket.

Additionally, the suspect has been charged with aggravated burglary and kidnapping. He allegedly tried to kidnap someone after entering a Wichita home on February 1. The kidnapping was allegedly part of Alderete’s effort to interfere in a law enforcement investigation.

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