Two people are in custody while two other remain at large while Salt Lake police continue to investigate the theft of a 800-pound state of Joseph Smith and Brigham Young sitting on a park bench. Ren Ford, 47, of Sandy, was arrested Tuesday evening, after the bronze state was recovered from his parents' house. Officials with Salt Lake police say the homeowners were not at the residence when the statue was recovered, and it remains unclear whether Ford or anyone else was living there on a full-time basis.
The daylong search began when four people in a white SUV hauling a flatbed trailer pulled up next to the statue early Tuesday morning, and managed to get it loaded on to the trailer. Surveillance footage of the incident was released to the public, which led to a tip on who might own the vehicle. When police arrived at the residence in West Jordan they found the trailer. The homeowners were contacted on the phone and gave permission for investigators to search the residence. The statue was located in the garage and appeared to be undamaged. Police do not believe that the homeowners were aware of its presence.
Police are still searching for a man and a woman connected with the incident, identified only as Larry and Traci, who may live in the area near West High School. The motive for the theft remains unclear, but the statue is valued at an estimated $125,000.
Photo courtesy of Salt Lake County Jail