Thieves steal 200-plus-pound lion statue from New London porch
New London — A right-facing lion statue on Wednesday was missing its left-facing half after someone stole the cumbersome cat from a Broad Street porch overnight.
While it may sound like mere mischief on the surface, the theft surely required some planning, as each stone piece weighs more than 200 pounds, according to owner Bob Paolino.
Paolino, who lives at 160 Broad St., said he first noticed his lion had gone missing while he was watering his flowers Wednesday morning.
“I was shocked,” he said. “I find it amazing that they could steal something that heavy.”
Paolino was surprised, too, that someone would try such a thing at his home, which is across from Dunkin’ Donuts and Williams Park and near New London Superior Court.
Despite the relatively cramped area on which the lion sat — there’s a mailbox to its left and a handrail to its right — the perpetrators left no evidence of having been on the property, save for two distinctive marks dug out in a flower bed below.
The marks look a bit like they could have been made by wheels, so Paolino is surmising the thief or thieves had a mobile crane or something similar to assist them in lifting the creature.
Paolino, who has reported the incident to police, said he has had both lions for nine or 10 years. He had two muscular friends help him install the beasts, and even they had to rig up a contraption — they used rails to slide the statues into their spots — because they couldn’t lift the lions high enough on their own.
“It’s funny because years ago, I wondered if I should cement them down,” he said of the lions. “But then I thought, ‘Who would be able to steal these?’”
Paolino said he fears someone may come back for the second statue. He’s hoping police’s involvement will help mitigate that and get to the bottom of the crime. He also called Dunkin’ Donuts to see whether any of their employees saw anything suspicious and whether their cameras might have caught the theft as it occurred.
“I just want it back,” he said of the left-facing lion. “No questions asked, just bring it back.”