Statue Stolen From Church Recovered

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Call it divine intervention or a sharp-eyed citizen - a statue stolen from a Topeka church has been found.

The ten-foot tall bronze sculpture called "Forgiven Man" stood outside First Congregational Church at SW 17th and Collins. Someone stole it in the early morning hours of October 3rd.

Topeka Police say they received a tip Thursday morning that led their officers and Shawnee County Sheriff's deputies to the 7600 block of SE Croco Road, where the statue was found in a ditch. Authorities contacted church officials, who picked it up at the scene.

A church official says the statue is in storage until security at the church is improved. He says there is some damage to the statue. The sculptor, Jim Bass, is currently in New York, but Powers says will be contacted about restoring the piece when he returns.

So far, authorities have made no arrests. The investigation continues. Anyone with information should contact Crime Stoppers at 785-234-0007.

The church's pastor is Tobias Schlingensiepen, who is the Democratic opponent to incumbent Lynn Jenkins in the 2nd District Congressional race.