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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.

Comment on this Story

  • Barry

    The Hawk is circling and is seeking retribution. Of course nothing will come of this. There will be a meeting of the minds. Perhaps a little payola. This will be reduced to a misdemeanor and everyone will be on their way.

    If so, the powers that be will send another message that there are no severe consequences for this type of act.

    Full restitution, 12 weekends in the slammer and about 200 hours of community service should grab the lads attention.

    But again, as we all know, that isn’t going to happen.

  • 9743

    I agree with you, nothing will come of this….”it was just a college prank or they were just having a little fun”, but instead of twelve weekends in the slammer how about twelve weeks in the slammer then maybe the next group will think twice before taking (stealing) something that doesn’t belong to them. These college kids do whatever they want in Wilmington without any fear of incarceration, fines or expulsion.

  • Heckler

    Would be a shame if some rowdy Dub fans went up to gboro on nov 18th for the bball game and left some “presents” for those no good spartans…

  • guest45

    For Christ sake people, this was a kid’s prank, not something that was meant to harm anyone , certainly not something that should warrant a felony charge following these kids around for life, now if you would like to take about wrongdoing, talk about the uncw cop that came to work drunk in a police vehicle and was giving a raise and promoted, it’s amazing how mixed up peoples choices have become.

  • DC Kid

    Being a D.C. street kid of the 70’s, I never stole anything like that. I can’t say I never stole…when I did it was because I was hungry. Stealing for fun is stupid. They need the book thrown at them.

  • Dr. Walter Bishop, Fringe Division

    There’s always someone out there who is an apologist for punks like this. First off, these were ADULTS, not kids. Stop excusing criminal behavior just because they are college students. Last time I checked, college students are bound by the laws of North Carolina just like everyone else. I’m sick and tired of people trying to excuse criminal behavior of young adults. Second, this isn’t a case of someone stealing a yard gnome. This was an expensive work of art that was paid for by donations from generous people who care about the university. If I came to your house and stole your heat pump or car for that matter as a prank, how would you feel? Pretty p***ed I bet, and I guarantee you wouldn’t see it as a harmless prank.

    These punks knew exactly what they were doing was wrong, why else would they pull this off under the cover of darkness? They deserve to have a criminal record following them for the rest of their lives, maybe one day they will tell their kids how stupid they were and how it ruined their prospects for a successful civilian or military career.

  • Anne

    I am pretty certain Jesus would frown on stealing a bronze statue. He might let stealing slide if you were poor and had not eaten in several days and you stole some bread and tuna fish but you don’t need a statue to live.

  • guest8675309

    People like you is what is wrong with this country. These ADULTS broke the law stealing a 70,000 dollar statue, now they are going to pay the price. I’m gonna steal your car, but don’t worry, it’s just a prank. And what does a officer making a mistake years ago have to do with anything? Educate yourself!

  • Guest2020

    Not harm anyone?!?!?!? Reall?!?!?!? Although this statue was donated, it is going to cost money to repair it. Having to shell out money for someone’s crime is not harmless. Like someone said, this wasn’t a garden gnome. This was a $70,000 statue.

    Why shouldn’t it warrant a felony charge? They showed a complete disrespect for another person’s property. They not only stole that property, they damaged it. If they will do this kind of crime where there are cameras, what kind of crimes will they be capable of when the cameras aren’t rolling?

  • Dub fan

    I think the students should be punished. But not with a felony for stealing a bronze bird!
    You can order one just like off eBay for $800.00. If we are going after these guys with felony charges for that, how about the misuse of funds going on at UNCW over 10plus years?
    2.25 million dollars to lower curbs so toads can hop over them.
    1.75 million for Buzz Peterson “who they gave an extension to after 16 wins in 2 seasons and 40 losses.
    Who’s done more damage?
    That bird was a huge waste of money.. I never saw it until this news story. 99.9999% of SENC wouldn’t have either.
    But now we all know it cost us 70k plus for that dumb thing!

  • guest8675309

    The bird was donated, it’s worth 70k. Keep up.

  • CM

    I contend that the only way to achieve true justice here is to put the culprits in a cage filled with razor-taloned angry birds of prey in front of the courthouse. Watching that would certainly be a lot more fun than playing Angry Birds online.


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