Womens Shelter Sculpture Returned


By Michelle Milliken

UPDATE: 11/13/2013 3:00PM - Boise Police investigators are happy a sculpted butterfly has been returned to the crisis shelter from where it was stolen. However, officers would still like to find the individuals who took the piece as well as the person who anonymously brought it back.

Pictures courtesy of the Boise Police Department.

Boise, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KTWT-TV ) Boise Police are looking for three suspects in the theft of a symbolic butterfly sculpture. The sculpture was taken Monday night from a women’s crisis shelter in Boise’s North End.

The butterfly was welded onto a sculpture of a woman and two children. It symbolized the hope and rebirth the shelter’s services represent for families in crisis. The sculpture is located at the corner of North 8th and West Washington Streets.

The butterfly was stolen just after 10 Monday night. Security video shows three men walking up to the sculpture. One of the men is seen breaking the butterfly from the sculpture by hitting it many times and then twisting the piece until it comes off. The men are then seen leaving in a southbound direction on 8th Street. Investigators say that all three are suspects in the incident until their individual roles in the crime can be determined.

The butterfly has been stolen before; the most recent theft was in May of 2012. The managers of the shelter have spent time and money since then to improve lighting and security by the sculpture. They’ve also welded the butterfly in place. To replace the one stolen, a local artist recreated the butterfly. The newly made sculpture was rededicated in October.

"We take people and refer people to this shelter all the time, so to see them repeatedly victimized is difficult," said Officer Zach Powell. Officer Powell works in the Boise Police Patrol Division. He’s one of the officers who has worked with the shelter on investigating the thefts since last year. "We're doing all we can to find, not only the suspects, but the missing piece of the sculpture. The people at the shelter deserve that."

Anyone with information on the crime or possible suspects is encouraged to contact Crime Stoppers at 343-COPS, to log onto www.343cops.com, or text CRIMES or 274637, subject: Tip236. You can also make tips on the Crime Stoppers Facebook Page at http://www.facebook.com/CSofSWIdaho. A citizen can remain anonymous. An award of up to $1,000 is offered by Crime Stoppers for any information leading to the arrest of criminal suspects.

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