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Massive 14-foot baseball player stolen from billboard

By Daniel Uria
Massive 14-foot baseball player stolen from billboard
A 14-foot tall statue of a Kansas City Royal player was found on Friday morning after being stolen form a billboard Wednesday night. The statue was valued at about $8,000 and was one of five similar statues found throughout the city. Screen capture/KSHB/Inform Inc.

KANSAS CITY, Mo., April 29 (UPI) -- A massive statue of a baseball player was stolen from a billboard near the Kansas City Royals stadium.

The 14-foot, 150 pound outfielder disappeared from the billboard on Thursday morning and advertising agency Lamar Advertising estimated that the damages were valued around $8,000.

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"Our crews loved that billboard. They said, 'You won't believe this, but it's missing. The Royals player is missing," Bob Fessler, vice president and Midwest manager for Lamar Advertising said.

Fessler told KSHB that the giant statue had been found on Friday morning across the street from where it had been stolen.

The motive for the crime is still unclear, but Jackson County Sheriff's Office Sgt. John Payne believes the theft may be related to the Royals popularity following their 2015 World Series victory.

Fessler was also baffled by how the thieves were able to move and transport the player after managing to free it from the five bolts that held it in place.

"Somebody either must have been holding it with a rope while they were disconnecting it and I'm guessing somebody had to be down here as they were lowering it, so in my mind, I'm thinking minimum of three [people]," he said. "And then what do you put it on when it's 14 feet long? It can't fit in an average pickup truck."

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Four other players from similar billboards around the city are set to be removed and taken to a warehouse at an undisclosed location.

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