Word that the Womens and Childrens Alliance butterfly had been stolen was a blow to the gut for Valerie Pierce, who finished a second stained-glass butterfly this fall after recovering from a near-fatal crash.
The Kuna artist said she shook it off Tuesday, then got to work. Shes making two copies of the butterfly, which rests in an outstretched hand of a woman in the sculpture.
Yes, two more.
The new butterflies will be made of steel, rather than bronze, because she can make them much faster.
I just want to get something in her hand, said Pierce, who is in the process of preparing for a trip abroad. Im not going to leave her empty-handed.
Pierce said shell make as many butterflies as needed.
Do you roll over and give up? No, she said. Do you stop covering graffiti? No.
The butterfly valued at about $2,500 was part of a sculpture called Taking Flight, dedicated at the Boise shelters 100th anniversary in 2011. It has great sentimental value for shelter staff and the victims of domestic violence they assist.
We are absolutely stunned and somewhat emotional. You feel violated, said WCA spokeswoman Chris Campbell. Its so personal. Its hurtful.
Security camera footage captured the theft at about 10:03 p.m. Monday. It shows a bearded man wearing shorts and a backward baseball hat striking the butterfly several times with his hand. He breaks it off, then leaves the area on foot with two other men.
Its the third time since spring 2012 that the butterfly has been stolen. The first time it was returned. The butterfly didnt turn up after the second theft.
Pierces new bronze butterfly was dedicated Oct. 4. A new security camera and motion lights were added to deter would-be thieves and vandals.
Pierce attached the butterfly with a second high-grade steel bolt with Loctite superglue, to ensure they could not be unscrewed. To strengthen the bond of the butterfly to the sculpture, she used J-B Weld epoxy. Pierce did not weld the butterfly to the sculpture.
The steel butterflies will be a temporary solution. A bronze butterfly will be welded to the sculpture later, Pierce said.
The WCAs Campbell believes that the most recent theft was a crime of opportunity. Pierce sees it as malicious.
With all the coverage it had, this wasnt random, Pierce said. Its not teenagers. These are adults. Theres motive behind it. I really think its against the center, I really do.
Anyone with information about the missing butterfly is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 343-2677, go online to www.343cops.com, or text CRIMES (274637), subject: Tip236.
Katy Moeller: 377-6413