Iconic deer sculptures stolen in The Woodlands

March 21, 2012 3:31:48 PM PDT
There's something missing from The Woodlands -- life-size sculptures of wildlife, swiped right from the Woodlands' entrance. Residents are outraged.

The deer sculptures didn't run off by themselves. Investigators believe they were taken by scrap metal thieves and the artist who designed them wants them returned.

Those stolen deer statues are part of a large collection. Deputies say they don't know who the thieves are, nor when they are striking.

Many folks call the bronze deer sculptures the signature of The Woodlands.

"The deer represent The Woodlands, I think," said resident Karen Draeger.

But recently some suspicious thieves have stolen two pieces of the heavy outdoor art -- a buck weighing 400 to 500 pounds and a 100-pound sculpture of a fawn.

"Well, that's terrible," said resident Mehdi Nasvri. "Woodlands has done their best to make this area look beautiful and in harmony with nature, and people just coming to do this type of vandalism really is not acceptable."

A spokeswoman from The Woodlands Development Company says it appears a group of thieves severed the buck's leg around March 1 at State Highway 242 and FM 1488. All that's left is a stump.

There's just a platform where the fawn stood at Creekside Park until it was taken last week. Neighbors call the crime suspicious.

"They cannot sell them," said resident Alfredo Hassuy. "Who could they sell them to? So, they melt them or they sell them for scrap.

Local artist Edd Hayes designed 27 of the deer sculptures on display around The Woodlands. He told me the stainless steel platforms are set in 400 pounds of concrete. He says stainless steel rods connect the deer to the platform. Hayes says the bronze statues are easily identifiable with his name etched inside the hind leg.

"They had a lot of help," theorized resident Charles Tomasek.

For now, neighbors are hoping the thieves are caught.

Local scrap metal dealers say bronze is being sold right now on average from $1.50 to $2.50 per pound.

Anyone with information about the stolen deer statues is encouraged to call the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office.


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