WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — UNCW Police have warrants for three men wanted for stealing a bronze seahawk statue from campus last month.
Joseph Edward Berry, 21, of Hillsborough, Robert Joseph Touhey, 20, of Ocracoke, and Nicholas Ryan Siano, 19, of Wilmington face charges of felony larceny and misdemeanor injury to real property.
The statue, valued at about $70,000, was discovered broken off at the feet from its mount in front of the Warwick Center in early July.
Investigators Crime Stoppers of the Cape Fear got an anonymous tip Thursday, which was the day after UNCWPD released surveillance video of the theft. The tip led to the recovery of the statue in Greensboro. With the help of the University of North Carolina Greensboro Police Department, the statue returned to Wilmington Tuesday.
UNCW Police Chief Dave Donaldson says investigators do not know why the statue was stolen, but the theft does not appear to be part of a prank.
Donaldson credited the community with stepping up to solve the crime.
“There was nothing about this case that would have taken us to UNCG,” Donaldson said. “So this is a case where the community responded to information that was released. We were very pleased with how quickly that occurred.”
Donaldson said the seahawk was returned without further damage. It will be returned once the school can review its security procedures so it doesn’t happen again.