Stolen Treasure: Retired Miami Beach firefighter asks for stolen statue’s return

(WSVN) - He has worked for years to help save other people’s lives and property. But now a former Miami Beach firefighter is hoping someone can help save one of his most prized possessions. 7’s Andrew Scheinthal has his family’s plea for a safe return of their “Stolen Treasure.”

You can see the holiday spirit on just about every street corner across South Florida — except the corner of Hawthorne Avenue in Miami Beach.

Albert Parron, homeowner: “It was malicious, it was intended, and we were violated. And I’m sad.”

Retired Miami Beach firefighter Albert Parron and his partner are not feeling very festive this holiday. That’s because their good cheer, along with a special memento, was stolen by a couple of Grinches.

Amaya Samperio, homeowner: “Violated. We felt it was like a kid, like we had another kid, so we miss it! Every time we come outside, we miss it.”

What they’re missing is this: a bronze statue of a boy sitting on a bench, reading a book.

Amaya Samperio: “We love it, and since then, so many kids have been loving it, too, and taking pictures with it, and the parents ask me permission. Everybody knew that kid on the bench.”

After 13 years in the same spot, it was stolen a few weeks ago. And Albert says, it couldn’t have been easy to take.

Albert Parron: “It’s something that would require two people to take. They would need either a bolt cutter or a chain cutter. That’s why I think that it’s possible that they planned it before. Cut the chain, we didn’t notice it, and then that night they just came and took it.”

Surveillance video shows the statue blocked by a column in the upper left-hand corner of the screen. While you can’t clearly make out the thieves, you can see it only took a few seconds for them to steal the statue.

The couple called police, then logged on to social media to ask friends and neighbors for help.

They also got to work installing better security around the house — a lot of it.

Amaya Samperio: “They had to be high definition, all the best that they had, and I installed nine of them. Now we have to live with cameras, with the alarm, so, it’s not a good feeling.”

And while they feel safer now with the new security cameras, they won’t feel whole again until their boy on a bench is back where it belongs.

Albert Parron: “We would love to have it back. Not just for us, but for the neighborhood.”

If you have any information on the theft of this statue, call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a $1,000 reward.

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