Crime

[Updated] Stolen Horse Statue Butchered at a Scrap Yard Lacks Feel-Good Christmas Ending

Update: Zachary Knox turned himself in to authorities at the Broward Sheriff's Office on Sunday and is charged with "dealing in stolen property."

Four thieves swiped a 250-pound bronze horse statue that cost $3,500 from the Polo Club, a new restaurant/club in Pembroke Park, according to the Broward Sheriff's Office and NBC Miami. The stolen steed's short stint in its South Florida habitat ended when suspects transported it to Rapid Metal Recycling in Hollywood, where they sold it as scrap metal for $900. Acting on a tip from the recycling center after an employee heard that the horse was stolen, detectives found what remained of the bronze animal chopped into scraps at the facility. 

The Broward Sheriff's Office named Zackie Jerome Knox as a "person of interest" in the case, and detectives are looking for him. Knox was arrested in October for grand theft of a firearm, disorderly conduct, possession of cannabis, and a transportation violation.

Scrap-metal theft has been an ongoing problem; it is simply taking new form. In January, a Palm Beach Post article reported that scrap-metal thieves targeted foreclosed homes. Thieves looted the mostly empty rooms, rummaging for anything metal including electrical wiring, cabinet handles, and even the kitchen sink -- "House stripping," the Post called this practice.

This same problem costs many businesses tens of thousands of dollars when thieves target the copper wiring in air conditioning units. In cases like these, thieves usually ruin the entire unit to remove the wiring. Last year, police arrested a 25-year-old man who confessed to tearing the wiring from all the business air-conditioning units in the Spencer Square shopping center in West Palm Beach, according to the Sun-Sentinel.

The recession has exacerbated the metal theft problem. Desperate times, very very desperate measures.


 



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Leslie Minora