Authorities are asking for the public's help in recovering a large bronze statue stolen from the Coles Crossing community this week.
According to deputies, landscapers discovered the "Cole" statue was missing early Thursday morning, from the community center at 13050 Barker Cypress.
The statue has been a fixture at the center since 1998. It depicts a boy walking barefoot, holding a fishing pole over his right shoulder and a string of fish in his left hand.
"When Coles Crossing was originally started, the tagline for the community was 'A Classic Way of Life,'" said resident Mary Anne Navarro. "So Cole was made to represent when we grew up as children, the time when kids could go fishing in the ponds and enjoy all the amenities that a community has to offer."
Navarro says through the years the statue has been featured in community newsletters and brochures.
"I was shocked that somebody would actually take the time and effort to steal something that means so much to everybody here in this community," Navarro said.
Adding insult to injury, whoever stole the statue left Cole's two bronze feet.
"I mean it really looks odd now, you walk up to it and the two feet are just sitting there," Navarro said.
Deputies say the statue is a hot commodity. They believe whoever stole it plans to sell it for scrap metal. Navarro says in April community members found damage to the statue, after Navarro believes someone tried to steal it, but was unsuccessful.
A replica of the statue can be found near the Randall's down the street from the community center.
The statue is approximately 4 feet tall and weighs about 500 pounds. Its estimated value is between $25,000 and $35,000.
Anyone with information about the case is asked to call the Harris County Sheriff's Office Burglary and Theft Division at 713-967-5805 or submit a tip via the iWatchHarrisCounty app.
Navarro says the community is also offering a $500 reward for anyone with information.