UPDATE: Stolen Sculpture Tour art piece found - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

UPDATE: Stolen Sculpture Tour art piece found

Eau Claire (WQOW)- A stolen sculpture has been found and it may have been hiding in plain sight all along.

The sculpture titled "All In The Same Boat" was taken from it's post near Mayo Clinic on Whipple Street Sunday morning. It was found Thursday within a quarter mile of that spot. It's one of over 30 works of art featured on this year's Eau Claire Sculpture Tour.  

Those involved with the tour say a homeowner was doing yard work Thursday when he noticed something in the bushes. Police were called and, sure enough, it was the sculpture. Police say it was found in a backyard along Congress Street. They don't suspect the person who called in the tip was involved in the theft. Police also say he was not interested in the $1,500 reward that was being offered. Police are still looking for the thief.  

We're told the sculpture appears to be in good shape, but will need to be looked at more thoroughly,  before it's re-installed as part of the tour.  

Eau Claire (News Release) - During the early morning hours of Sunday, July 20, 2014, a sculpture was stolen near Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire on the 1200 block of Whipple Street. The sculpture entitled “All in the Same Boat” by artist Kyle Fokken, was being shown as part of Sculpture Tour Eau Claire. This sculpture was valued at $7,000.

On Thursday, July 24, 2014, the Eau Claire Police Department received information from a community member as to the whereabouts of the stolen sculpture. Eau Claire Police Department Detectives responded to this location and recovered the sculpture. The sculpture appeared undamaged and was returned to the Eau Claire Community Foundation.

The Eau Claire Police Department would like to extend their gratitude for the assistance received by vigilant and responsible community members. This case highlights the importance of collaboration between members of the community and the Eau Claire Police Department.

This theft is still under investigation and the Eau Claire Police Department Detective Division is following up on additional leads. No arrests have been made at this time.

Anyone with further information regarding the theft is asked to contact Detective Kyle Jentzsch at 715-839-6020.


Eau Claire (News Release) -
A sculpture was stolen from near Mayo Clinic, on Whipple Street, on the morning of Sunday, July 20, 2014. All in the Same Boat is one of 32 artworks that Sculpture Tour Eau Claire has put on display throughout the city as part of its mission to promote public access to art.

All in the Same Boat by Minnesota artist Kyle Fokken has an assessed value of $7000, but the financial loss is only part of the negative impact on Eau Claire should it not be returned. Its loss could also raise Sculpture Tour Eau Claire’s insurance premiums to unaffordable levels as well as discourage artists from loaning their works to the organization, jeopardizing Sculpture Tour Eau Claire’s ability to procure and display sculptures in future years.

The Eau Claire Police Department is currently investigating the theft using surveillance footage, but all parties concerned would prefer that whoever currently has All in the Same Boat return it without police intervention.

A $1500 reward for information leading to All in the Same Boat’s return is being offered thanks to donations by Wipfli CPA and Consultants and Royal Construction, Inc. Anyone with information can contact the Eau Claire Police Department’s Tipster Line at 715-839-4982, text ECPD and the tip to 847411, or email info@sculpturetour.org. The sculpture can be returned at the Eau Claire Community Foundation, 306 S. Barstow St., Suite 104, with no questions asked. All tips will remain anonymous.

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