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Second man charged in theft of Waukegan library statues melted for scrap

Two bronze statues were stolen from Waukegan Public Library courtyard. A girl playing soccer titled Image Thboy reading book titled

Two bronze statues were stolen from the Waukegan Public Library courtyard. A girl playing soccer titled Image That and a boy reading a book titled Little Scholar. | Thomas Delany Jr.~Sun-Times Media

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Updated: June 21, 2012 9:23AM

A second suspect has been charged with the theft of a pair of bronze statues from the courtyard of a north suburban library last month that were sold to a West Side scrap metal business and melted for scrap.

John Anthony Davis, 25, of Waukegan was charged with one count of theft from a government property, Waukegan police said. He is being held on $50,000 bail at the Lake County Jail.

Daniel R. Ramos, 30, of Chicago was arrested last week on the same charge and ordered held on $50,000 bail, police said.

Sometime overnight on May 29 or 30, the statues were stolen from the Waukegan Public Library on County Street, with the thieves chipping away at the fieldstone base to remove the pieces, which were bolted into concrete atop the stone, police said.

Last week, police received an anonymous tip about Ramos, who was arrested and confessed to his role in the theft, police said.

Ramos said he and Davis noticed the statues were loosely secured to their bases and felt they could easily be removed, police said. They stole the statues and took them to JB Metals at 2910 Carroll in Chicago, police said.

The men were paid $268.80 for the statues, which were then melted by the company, police said.

The stolen pieces were “Little Scholar” by Jane Rankin of Monument, Colo., which portrays a boy reading a book while propped on his knees and elbows; and “Imagine That” by Kathy Anderson of Littleton, Colo., which shows a girl reading a book while sitting atop a stack of books.

The works were originally bought for about $15,000, but may have been worth more as both artists have since died.

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