A collegiate caper took place this week sometime between the hours of 11 p.m. Tuesday night and 7 a.m. Wednesday morning, during which a 300-pound life-size statue of onetime UC Berkeley crew coach Carrol ‘Ky’ Ebright was stolen from an Oakland boathouse.

The UC Berkeley Police Department issued a crime alert regarding the theft, which uses the crime as a teaching opportunity to inform us that Ebright "coached Cal crew teams to earn three Olympic gold medals and multiple other championships in the early 20th Century."

The statue is apparently solid bronze, with a chemical treatment creating hues of blue and gold.

We might be quick to write this off as the result of some hilarious high jinks perpetrated by the UC Berkeley crew team (with the statue sure to shortly turn up on the tough-but-lovable dean's desk), were it not for the fact that police say the statue is estimated to be worth $80,000. It also, notes UCPD, "has significant symbolic and sentimental value."

Ebright was the crew team's head coach from 1924 until 1959, and a 1968 interview with the then retired coach notes that he was known as "The Little Admiral."

Anyone with information about the theft is encouraged to contact the University of California Berkeley Police Department at (510) 642-0472.

Related: Grand Theft Berkeley