Elks Lodge 547 in Rutherford said the elk statue that adorned the roof of the lodge for more than 60 years was taken recently after members laid it on its side and removed its head to protect it from falling in the strong winds, WCBS-TV, New York, reported Thursday.
Members said the thieves must have thought they could make money selling the statue for scrap metal.
"They broke it into smaller pieces and threw it over the roof in different spots," lodge treasurer Joe Europa said. "It's just senseless they did thousands of dollars' worth of damage to the building for an elk that's probably worth maybe $100, and if they needed something we would have gladly given it to them."
The lodge is raising money for a new statue to be made from aluminum and plastic.