Posted on February 14, 2024

Man Arrested in Jackie Robinson Statue Theft, Kansas Police Say

Cara Tabachnick, CBS, February 13, 2024

A man has been arrested in connection with the Jan. 25 theft of a Jackie Robinson statue from McAdams Park in Wichita, Kansas, police announced in a news conference on Tuesday.

Ricky Alderete, 45, has been charged with felony theft and making false information, police said. Detectives conducted 100 interviews while investigating the theft to find out who –and why– the crime was committed, police said.

Ricky Alderete

Ricky Alderete

League 42, the nonprofit organization who put up the bronze Jackie Robinson statue at the park in 2021, was initially concerned the statute –one of only four of the famed athlete in the nation– was stolen and vandalized in a racially-motivated hate crime.

Police said in a statement that the “investigation has not revealed any evidence indicating that this was a hate-motivated crime.” Instead, police believe the “theft was motivated by the financial gain of scrapping common metal.”

Thieves often steal bronze, copper and other metals to resell it to scrap yards. {snip}