Remember that life-size, 300-pound bronze statue of a legendary UC Berkeley crew coach that was stolen from an Oakland boathouse last week? Well, police managed to recovered it Saturday night, but not before its head and both feet had been chopped off.
The statue itself is estimated to be worth $80,000, and police weren't sure whether it had been stolen by metal scrappers or mischievous college pranksters. Well, it now looks like we can cross one of those off our list.
A San Leandro Police Department press release details how the statue was discovered.
"At 10:10pm, SLPD officers were on patrol, when they saw a suspicious vehicle parked in the StorQuest Storage parking lot located in the 1100 block of Davis St," the release reads. "The storage facility was closed, so the officers began to investigate. They saw the upper torso of the readily identifiable statue that they recognized from previous news broadcasts and police bulletins in the bed of the truck, missing its head and feet."
Apparently, officers immediately suspected 46-year-old Dean Gamaza, as he is on "searchable probation" and lives behind the parking lot where the torso was discovered.
"Officers went to Gamaza’s residence, where they found a 3 foot wide by 3 foot deep hole in the backyard," the press release continues. "The statue’s head and feet were lying in the base of the hole."
The statue, which the UCPD notes "has significant symbolic and sentimental value," was not in good shape.
“We are extremely happy to have located this iconic statue,” said SLPD Lt. Robert McManus. “However, we are disappointed that the statue was mutilated. We hope that it can be repaired and restored to its original condition, so that it can again stand and represent the history of Cal’s crew team.”
The statue memorialized Carrol ‘Ky’ Ebright, a crew coach who took UC Berkeley's rowing team to the Olympics on multiple occasions — winning three gold metals in the process. According to a 1968 interview with the then retired coach, Ebright was known as "The Little Admiral."