FORSYTH COUNTY, Ga. - A stolen eagle statue worth $18,000 has been recovered.
A group of people stole the bronze eagle statue last month from the Big Creek Greenway recreational area on Bethelview Road. But when someone tried to sell it, the buyer recognized it.
The 450-pound bronze eagle, a symbol of freedom was taken Aug. 28, and authorities put the word out for residents to be vigilant. Lance White, of Lance’s Jewelry, said someone made an offer to him.
“He texted me that he had a large bronze statue that he wanted me to help him to sell,” White told Channel 2’s Craig Lucie. “He said it was three feet tall and had a 4 ½ wingspread. At that point, I knew it was the eagle that was missing.”
White said his lawn worker said he bought it off the back of a pick-up truck from men who came to his neighborhood. He told White he didn't an eagle state had disappeared.
“He was upset. He was like, ‘No, it couldn't be.’ Yeah, I think it was and he said, ‘How can we put it back?” White said.
White contacted the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office and then, deputies contacted Gregory Johnson, the artist who made the statue and loaned it to the county.
“I’m absolutely thrilled. It’s good news. I had personally insured it, so I was the one who was going to take the loss,” Johnson told Lucie.
He added, “This eagle is representational of what the United States is all about and this county had lost an eagle and so, we needed to get it back.”
Johnson said he's going to work with the county to put the eagle in a more secure part of the Greenway. The sheriff’s office said the case is under investigation and no arrests have been made.