BOISE — A thrice-stolen butterfly sculpture has found its way home again to the Womens and Childrens Alliance.
The butterfly was left early Wednesday morning in a brown paper bag on the WCAs front steps, along with a note apologizing for the theft, spokeswoman Chris Campbell said.
The stained glass and bronze insect was stolen Monday night. Security footage captured an image of three men walking by the statue, one of whom returned and struck the butterfly until it broke loose. The bearded man is then shown taking the sculpture and walking away with his companions.
Campbell believes the thieves had a change of heart.
The man who brought the butterfly back was not the same man who broke it loose, but Campbell said it is likely one of his companions. The note left with the butterfly apologized for taking it: "My friend is a drunken idiot. I am so sorry. Bystander to the Great Butterfly Heist."
Some, including artist Valerie Pierce, have suggested the thieves were targeting the WCA, which provides support to women and children who are escaping from domestic violence. But Campbell doesnt see it that way.
To me it did not look like a planned, targeted thing, she said. It did not look like a vendetta.
The men likely acted on a whim when they saw the statue, and thought it would be a funny prank to take the sculpture, she said.
Obviously someone who was associated with them did not think it was so funny, she said.
Boise police still want to identify the men in the video, who could be charged with felonies for the theft of the $2,500 statue. Campbell also hopes the men responsible are identified.
Officers have several leads, but are asking anyone with information that could identify the men involved to call Crime Stoppers at 343-COPS.
Campbell said the WCA will likely take steps to ensure that the butterfly stays put this time, but are still discussing the best way to do it.
Theres a lot of conversations going around, she said. We did take steps to secure it even more than it was before, but obviously we need to do something different.
The butterfly was attached with bolts and epoxy, but the thief was able to break it loose by hitting it several times with his hand, then wrenching it free.
Both the bolts were broken, and there was still epoxy clinging to the butterfly when it was returned.
Were going to have to do some repair to both the statue and the butterfly before it is reinstalled, she said.
For now, she is just happy the butterfly is back where it belongs.
Its a feeling of relief, she said. For someone to come forward, righting a little bit of the wrong, it reaffirms our faith in the good people in our community.