February 28, 1998 in Nation/World

Bloomsday Racer To Rejoin The Pack One Of Pair Accused Of Theft Leads Police To Statue In Mead Field

By The Spokesman-Review

The metal Bloomsday racer stolen from a sculpture in Spokane’s Riverfront Park may be up and running again by next week.

Police recovered the statue Friday, muddy but intact, said Bill Brown, a park worker. “They found it dumped in a field up in Mead,” Brown said.

A detective delivered the racer - modeled after a 5-year-old boy - to the park about 5:15 p.m., Brown said.

“We’re just going to keep it locked up for the weekend,” he said. “I heard the artist may come down on Monday to put it back up.”

The rusted statue is part of a work by David Govedare called “The Joy of Running Together,” which commemorates Spokane’s annual Bloomsday race.

The sculpture - containing 40 life-sized metal road racers - is located at the southwest corner of the park. It is a popular meeting spot and has been a backdrop for thousands of photographs taken before and after Bloomsday.

On Friday, one of the young men accused of stealing the statue apparently told detectives where they could find it, said Dick Cottam, police spokesman. That man is thought to be Andrew Strick, who was spotted at the Public Safety Building about 3:30 p.m.

Strick, 18, and Lee W. Smith, 19, have admitted stealing the racer about midnight Feb. 16. They were arrested Tuesday night on suspicion of first-degree theft after one of Smith’s co-workers overheard him talking about the statue and tipped authorities.

Cottam said Friday he wasn’t sure what motivated the theft.

“I heard it was some kind of scavenger hunt,” he said.

, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Color Photo

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