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Police Seek Pick-Up Truck Following Theft Of Statue

Ross Olszewski of the Jamestown Police Department is pictured Monday morning taking photographs at Dow Park. A copper statue part of the “Underground Railroad Tableau” series was stolen sometime between Thursday and Monday. P-J photo by Eric Tichy

Jamestown police are looking for an older-model pick-up truck with a wooden tailgate in connection to the theft of an Underground Railroad statue from Dow Park.

The statue may have been spotted in the vehicle Saturday between noon and 3 p.m. on Washington Street heading north toward Fluvanna Avenue.

The statue, which is part of a series tiled “Underground Railroad Tableau” and created by the late David Poulin — had just recently been cleaned, with the assistance of the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation, and re-installed last Thursday. City Parks Department employees realized Monday that the statue was missing and contacted the police department.

The piece is estimated to be worth $2,000.

Jamestown Mayor Eddie Sundquist said he was shocked and disappointed to learn of the theft.

“To think someone would want to steal or take the statue for the Underground Railroad, especially at a time we want to embrace human rights and the ability for us to remember the actions taken to be free, it’s disheartening,” Sundquist said.

It’s not clear how exactly the copper statue, believed to weigh between 500 and 600 pounds, was removed from the park that neighbors James Prendergast Library and is nestled along some of the busiest streets in Jamestown. Police believe more than one person may be involved as the statue would be too heavy for one person to lift.

The three-statue Jamestown Underground Railroad Tableau honors Silas Sherman, an abolitionist and acknowledged leader of the Ugrr Line that came through Jamestown; Catherine Harris, a free Black woman and station master; and the “anonymous fugitives who touched Jamestown in the pursuit of freedom along the Underground Railroad.” The statue recognizing the latter was the piece stolen from Dow Park.

Anyone else who may have seen this truck with the statue, or who may know who this truck would belong to, is asked to contact the Jamestown Police at 483-7537 or anonymous tips can be left at 483-Tips (8477). All calls and tips are kept confidential.

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