The massive cannon was returned to its rightful owner, and you'll never guess who took it.
Police in Richmond, CA have recovered a priceless World War I-era cannon that was taken from a local veteran’s hall earlier in May. According to a report from the Associated Press, the cannon was swiped on the first of the month when two men chopped a chain securing the relic and towed it away with a pickup truck.
Police initially suspected that the thieves would melt the one-ton cannon down for the metal, but the value of the intact cannon is likely higher than the brass and iron that it’s made of.
According to Richmond Police Lt Felix Tan, “This is part of our American history and this is stealing from our culture. It’s stealing from the men and women who’ve fought for our country and our freedom.”
Veteran Art Hunt, who recalls seeing the cannon sitting outside of Richmond’s Veteran Hall for as long as he can remember, found the theft particularly troubling. “People have died for this country,” he said. “You just don’t steal from them. That’s not right. You’re stealing something you don’t even know what it represented. This hurts.”
The theft, which took place in less than a minute, occurred as local vendors were preparing for the city’s Cinco de Mayo festival. “It was literally on the run and we did not receive any call of anybody driving our city limits with a cannon in tow,” said Tan.
“It’s a precious item to us,” said Hunt. “It’s worth more than gold to this building. It’s worth more than gold.”
Fortunately, the cannon was returned to its rightful owners when a man who purchased it saw that it had been stolen on TV. The man was not aware that the cannon had been stolen when he purchased it, and police are still investigating the theft and searching for the two men captured on surveillance cameras stealing the relic.
A statement posted to the Richmond Police Department’s Facebook page describing the return of the cannon can be found here.