The Raggedy Ann and Andy statues that were stolen on Oct. 10 have both been returned to their home at the Just 4 Fun store located at 1105-B Ohio Pike near Amelia.
They went missing from the Just 4 Fun store in the early morning hours of Oct. 10. and were returned one week later on Oct. 17.
“The statues have resided in our front parking lot for two and a half years,” said Just 4 Fun co-owner and manager Carol St. Clair. “We came to work Wednesday morning, and noticed that they had vanished. We now know that they were taken or kidnapped by a group of teenage boys who we understand were intending to sell them.”
The St. Clairs did not have any leads as to what happened to the statues until two calls were made to the store.
“Initially, we had received an anonymous tip from a truck driver who told us that they had seen the statues displayed in someone’s yard,” said Carol St. Clair.
Things happened very quickly after that revelation.
“We then received a call from a concerned single mother. All that we are willing to say is that she called the store and made arrangements for some teenage boys (who live 90 minutes away) to return the statues unharmed,” said St. Clair. “We promised not to prosecute on that condition. We just wanted them back, and now I am pleased to say that they are back on their perch in front of the store.”
The statues will now be secured from theft by concrete bolts.
The statues, which are made of fiberglass, weigh around two hundred pounds and stand 5 feet tall, are valued at $1,200 each.
“They are expensive and have sentimental community value as well,” said St. Clair. “They have greeted our patrons and shoppers for a couple of years. In the 1960′s, they were custom-made for an amusement park in New Jersey. We had them mounted on a skid in front of the store right next to the Pinnochio statue (which is now also chained to a pole) and when they went missing, we were very upset.”
The Pierce Township Police Department had assigned an investigator to try and locate the missing statues.
Police Chief Colonel James T. Smith had said that the person or persons who took the statue would most likely be charged with theft or breaking and entering (defined as trespassing on private property to commit the theft).
“The statues of Raggedy Ann and Andy were returned in excellent condition, so we do not want to prosecute. The boys are sorry and have probably learned a lesson. We are just thankful to have our beloved statues back,” St. Clair said.