A 45-year-old man is now in police custody after cops claim he stole and destroyed a beloved Jackie Robinson statue in Kansas … but authorities say they believe his actions were NOT motivated by hate.
According to the Wichita Police Department, Ricky Alderete has been hit with four criminal charges — including felony theft and aggravated criminal damage to property — after authorities say he nabbed the famed JR monument from outside a youth baseball facility late last month and then burnt it down to a pile of rubble.
Wichita Police Department
Cops say their investigation revealed Alderete committed the act in order to cash in on the figurine’s metal scraps.
Officials added they believe there might be more individuals involved in the crime.
“Our detectives remain committed to gathering information to identify and charge all individuals involved in the theft and destruction of the Jackie Robinson statue,” cops said in a statement Tuesday. “The WPD extends its gratitude to the community for their support, patience, and information related to this case.”
City officials, meanwhile, have already said they plan to replace the Robinson sculpture with another one in the near future.
A GoFundMe put in place to raise money for the eventual replacement statue has garnered more than $194,000.