Theft from armless artist spurs hundreds of donations

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ATHENS, Ga. (AP) — Hundreds of people have shown their support for an armless street artist whose artwork, supplies and donation box were stolen near the University of Georgia.

Nearly $34,000 had been raised online as of Friday morning for Michael Davenport, who is known in Athens for sketching the university's bulldog mascot. He holds a pen in his mouth to create the artworks because he lost his arms as a child.

Davenport, 53, said his belongings were stolen on Jan. 15, when he took a break to use the restroom at a nearby business.

Athens-Clarke police said detectives were looking to identify the suspect, seen on surveillance video in what appears to be a gold-colored minivan.

Stephen Frazier, the general manager at Budget Host Inn in Athens, said he set up the online fundraising account in Davenport's name.

Davenport told WAGA-TV he plans to use the money for a truck to carry his supplies, and for medical treatment for his leg that was injured in an attack last year.

“I want to thank my fans, the people that support me. They know I’ve got a good heart,” Davenport told the Athens Banner-Herald. “I feel like God heard my prayers.”

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