Thieves target memorial for war heroes

April 5, 2011 4:15:31 PM PDT
A tribute to the heroes who died for our freedom was stolen right from the Alvin City Hall. For more than half a century the memorial has been a fixture in downtown Alvin and went through a renovation less than a year ago. But now the former statue in front of Alvin City Hall is just a broken piece of metal that has become a sign of disappointment and frustration for the community.

Outside Alvin City Hall you'll only find two memorials, one of baseball legend Nolan Ryan and other honoring veterans. Only, all that's left is a broken support beam from what was an Alvin heirloom originally constructed back in 1957.

"I think it's scary," said Alvin resident Tommy Peebles. "The idea that people would steal anything, much less something from the public that was dedicated in memory of people who gave their lives overseas."

After more than four decades on display, a $1,000 renovation was completed last summer. A plaque was added to the chrome and wood inverted rifle and helmet, honoring all from Alvin who perished in service to the nation. But over the weekend, someone snapped off the memorial.

Rod Townsend with Alvin VFW Post 5237 said, "I don't think it was intended to send a message of disrespect to those that have served in our military. Indirectly that is what it ended up being, kind of a slap in the face, especially to the families that have lost loved ones."

With it being a gathering spot for veterans during special ceremonies, the Alvin VFW post says their immediate mission is to find it or replace it.

"Every time, the suns sets on it and it's in its current condition, broken, I think that continues to be a slap in the face," Townsend told Eyewitness News. "It's on us as veterans to step up and make it whole."

The statue was made of chrome and wood. Officials don't suspect metal thieves.

There are no surveillance cameras outside City Hall, so no strong leads exist, but the Alvin Police Department, who has a few veterans within its ranks, is working on the case.

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