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The case of the missing statue

Altamont police have no leads in theft of fiberglass soldier

It's a mystery worthy of the likes of Sherlock Holmes, or at least Encyclopedia Brown. How did the culprits remove a 300-lb statue from the center of a sleepy town with no one the wiser?

It's a question police in Altamont haven't been able to answer, and now they're looking to the public and hoping to find some witness who might shed some light on the crime.

The facts according to the Altamont Police Department are as follows: sometime during the night of Saturday, Aug. 21, or early morning of Sunday, Aug. 22, persons unknown removed the highly visible fiberglass statue of a soldier from its position outside the Home Front Cafe in the center of Altamont. Police expect three or more culprits because there were no tracks in the mud leading up to the statue or evidence of it being dragged away, meaning it was likely picked up and carried several feet to a van or truck.

Police Chief Anthony Salerno called it a puzzling case, but at this point he's most interested in seeing the item returned to the owners.

"It's sentimental to the Pollards " the people who own the Home Front " and all the veterans who go in there," he said. "We're willing to work with the individuals so it's returned. That's our primary objective right now."

He speculated pranksters may be behind the theft.

Locals know the Home Front Cafe as not only a local eatery but a haven for 1940s memorabilia, including World War II artifacts. Newspaper clippings, uniforms, propaganda posters and medals line the walls of the establishment, which Cindy Pollard and her husband, John, have been running for 13 years.

They also placed larger items outside, including a rare tank, a half-track vehicle and the soldier statue.

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