Orem Police Department
OREM — A statue of a young girl and her horse stolen from Bonneville Elementary School at the beginning of the school year will soon be back where it belongs thanks to the relentless efforts of a police officer.
Students at the school had a Christmas sing-along before they left for winter break Friday, and a wrapped gift on a table during the assembly left a lot of them curious.
The gift was from Orem police officer Randy Clement, also known as "Officer Friendly," and it was something that is very dear to the hearts of everyone at Bonneville Elementary, whose mascot is the Broncos.
As a teacher read a story called “The Adventures of a Little Lady and Her Horse,” written by Clement, they learned their surprise had been through quite an ordeal, beginning with the day it was stolen from the school.
“Since Aug. 27, having that empty pedestal has been a reminder of the sadness it has brought our students,” Bonneville Elementary Principal Shawn Brooks said.
According to the story, when the thieves learned Clement was closing in, they buried the statue. One of them got nervous and dug it up and threw it in the Provo River. Later, he decided it might be found there, so he dumped it in the snow in the foothills above Provo before finally confessing to police Thursday.
“That same day, the young man took officers to the location where he had thrown the bronze horse and retrieved it once again,” Clement wrote.
But something was missing from the statue. The young girl riding the horse had broken off when the statue was thrown into the river. So Clement borrowed some hip waders and started looking in the murky water.
"A lot of times you think this isn't that big of a deal, but to these kids this is their school and their statue,” Clement said. “Man, I didn't think I was going to find the little girl, and when I did, boy was I elated.”
Students and teachers were also very happy to see their cherished statue.
"Some people look for miracles at Christmas, and we have one here at Bonneville,” Brooks said. “We're just so excited to have our statue back. Thank you, officer Clement.”
As for the teens who took the statue, they've haven't been arrested but three of them will face charges of trespassing. The teen who stole the statue also faces charges of vandalism and theft.
Metal Arts Foundry in Lehi has offered to reattach the girl to her horse and repair the damage to the statue free of charge.
"Once the little lady and her horse are repaired and polished, they will return to their place of honor at Bonneville Elementary where she can be with the children who love her," Clement wrote. "The End.”
- Carbon County deputy saves father, son from...
- Sugar House man intends to sue police, city...
- Dispatchers answer man's repeated 911 calls...
- Fire rips through Orem structure under...
- Grading Utah schools, 2014: Top 20 highest...
- Police: Vernal woman arrested with car full...
- Woman killed in Sandy shooting
- 4 interactive ways to teach your kids about...
- Majority of Utahns oppose moving state... 51
- Prison relocation sites down to four as... 50
- Obama signature all that's left in... 39
- Sugar House man intends to sue police,... 35
- Popular Utah County water recreation... 21
- Audit: Utah still relies heavily on... 16
- Utahns favor Count My Vote and SB54,... 15
- Utah lawmakers recommend lowest-cost... 15