WILKES-BARRE, Pa., Aug. 22 (UPI) -- A stolen life-sized statue of United States President Barack Obama has been returned to its Northern Pennsylvania owner after being discovered on a nearby picnic bench with an empty six-pack of Twisted Tea and a cigarette butt hanging from its mouth.
The statue was a staple of the Wilkes-Barre, Pa., neighborhood it was stolen from, where owner Tiffany Bruce prominently displayed it on her porch and decorated it for holidays.
"I peeked my head out the door and Obama's gone and I kind of went into a panic," described a distressed Bruce when the statue was taken on Tuesday. She was not being hyperbolic, as Bruce was literally suffering from a panic attack.
"I couldn't breathe, and I had to go to the hospital."
In addition to being a prized possession, the statue was also a bit of an investment.
"That statue was actually $1,249," Bruce told WNEP.
Upon hearing of the treasonous theft, Ashley Furniture, where Bruce purchased the statue, offered to replace the likeness of President Obama free of charge.
"We all felt for her, and the way it affected her," Ashley Furniture employee told CitizensVoice.com.
"We were all pulling for her."
To the relief of Bruce and the community, the statue of the president was found Thursday on a picnic bench in nearby Bear Creek. Thieves or other vandals arranged the statue with an empty six pack of Twisted Tea and placed a cigarette butt in its mouth.
Bruce says she does not understand why someone would want to steal the statue, and is just to relieved to have it back.
"[My kids] are going to freak. They're going to start jumping all over him."