(IDAHO FALLS, ID) — Thieves have stolen one of the most popular art benches from the Idaho Falls Greenbelt, apparently during the night of September 11thor wee hours of the next morning. The art bench, designed to be a gigantic red and white fishing lure, named “Al-Lure”, was located on the greenbelt across from the Sandpiper Restaurant. Created by local artist and BYU-Idaho Art Instructor Jason Brown, it was a crowd favorite with families stopping to have their photos taken on it as they walked around the Snake River.
Apparently the thieves cut the bolts which were placed into the concrete pad to secure the bench. From the appearance of the bolts, it looked like the thieves used some kind of power tool to remove them and steal the bench.
“I was heartsick to learn somebody has stolen that beautiful bench.” said Carrie Scheid, Art Bench Coordinator. “It was a personal favorite of mine. I especially loved sitting on the Sandpiper Deck in the evenings watching kids squeal with delight when they walked by it on the greenbelt.”
The stolen art bench is one of more than twenty which have been placed on the greenbelt thanks to donations from local businesses and citizens. The benches cost $3000 each and were created by artists, mostly from eastern Idaho. The donors who funded the stolen bench are the Sandpiper Restaurant and artist Jason Brown’s family.
The Idaho Falls Arts Council is offering a $500 reward for information leading to the return of the stolen bench. Anyone with information on the bench’s whereabouts should call either the Idaho Falls Arts Council at 522-0471, City of Idaho Falls Parks and Recreation Department at 612-8480 or Crime Stoppers at 522-1983.
Jason Borba, KPVI
Stephan Rockefeller, EastIdahoNews.com