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Thief steals statue honoring deceased mother

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SARATOGA SPRINGS — Police are looking for person, or people, responsible for taking a bronze statue made in memory of a Saratoga Springs mother who was killed in an explosion and left behind an 18-month-old daughter.

On Feb. 6, 2007, April Roper, 24, and Questar employee Larry Radford, 48, were killed in a fiery explosion at Roper's home. Roper's husband and 18-month-old daughter were outside the house at the time and survived.

Greg Roper later filed a lawsuit against Questar, Qwest and three other companies, claiming negligence and failure to safely respond to a natural gas leak that pumped more than 9,000 cubic feet of gas into the ground near the Ropers' home.

A bronze statute was later made as a memorial to the tragedy and placed in Sunrise Meadow Park in Saratoga Springs. Police say the statue, between 12 to 18 inches tall and weighing about 100 pounds, was believed to be stolen sometime between Oct. 12 and Oct. 19. The statue is valued at $4,000.

The people responsible pried the statue off a rock base, to which it was glued, said Saratoga Springs Police detective Bruce Champagne.

Investigators believe the people responsible want to sell the bronze to a metal recycling plant.

"It's disappointing," Champagne said. "It's interesting they felt it was worth the risk to take the time stealing it."

Area metal recycling plants have been notified to be on the lookout for the statue.

Anyone with information can call police at 801-766-6503.


Written by Pat Reavy with contributions from Peter Samore.


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