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Bronze Eagle Sculpture Lands Safely

A tip from a local jeweler to a Forsyth County commissioner leads to the safe return of a bronze eagle sculpture valued at $18,500.

A bronze eagle sculpture stolen two weeks ago from the in south Forsyth County has been recovered.

Todd Levent, Forsyth County Commissioner (District 3), told Cumming Patch that he was contacted Wednesday around 5:30 p.m. by a tipster who knew where the sculpture was located.

The tipster told Levent that another individual wanted to sell the eagle to him.

Levent who, at the time, was leaving the Forsyth County Administration Building with Commissioner Patrick Bell (District 4) said the tipster had given him information of who had the eagle, where they lived and what kind of vehicle they drove.

Levent then said, "I told Commissioner Bell that I'm going to go find our eagle."

Levent said as he made his way to the location of where he was told the eagle could be found he contacted the .

According to the FCSO, the eagle was recovered on Wednesday evening by investigators at a residence in south Forsyth in good condition.

Levent, a former law enforcement official, said he and four others loaded the sculpture into the back of a truck.

Shortly after the interview with Levent, Cumming Patch was contacted by Lance White, owner of and President of the , saying he was the tipster.

White said that a man who has been taking care of his lawn for about two years and who lives in a trailer park not far from White's residence contacted him.

"He texted me and asked me could I help him sell a bronze statue," he said. "And of course immediately I thought okay it's going to be an eagle."

After getting a complete description of the sculpture by the man and seeing a picture of it, White said he knew it was the stolen eagle.

"But I know this guy, he wasn't the one that stole it," said White. "He's a very hard worker, he wouldn't be the guy."

White said that the man didn't know that the eagle was stolen telling him that, "he's never seen anything like it around here. I've been in all the neighborhoods and I've been around in the county and it's not from here."

White continued to say that he told the man that the eagle belongs to the county and that the man's reply was "oh no." The man then asked White to help him "carry it back." White said no he wouldn't do that, but he would help him and that's when White contacted authorities.

The man told White that two men had the eagle in the back of a pickup truck and were driving around the trailer park where the man lives and were trying to sell it to someone.

White believes the man purchased the eagle for about three or four hundred dollars, and reiterated that he doesn't believe the man was involved in the theft.

"Trust me, I've known this guy for two years Liz, and he did not steal this," he said.

The "Inquisitive Eagle" is valued at $18,500 and stands 5-feet-tall, is 5-feet wide and weighs about 400-pounds, according to its creator Gregory Johnson.

"I am absolutely thrilled that its been recovered," said Johnson.

"And for future replacement I'm going to work with the county to find a new location, something that is more secure. I don't want to look at this gift-horse in the mouth four months from now."

Johnson said he would be reviewing all of the options about finding a new location for the eagle that was stolen on Aug. 27 or 28 from its perch at the Bethelview Road trail head of the Big Creek Greenway.

As of this writing no arrests have been made and the theft of the sculpture remains under investigation.

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