Venice, Sarasota Police work together to recover stolen statue

Sophia statue has been recovered
Sophia statue has been recovered(Sarasota Police)
Published: Jun. 7, 2023 at 3:52 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 8, 2023 at 11:21 AM EDT
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SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - The beloved ‘Sophia’ statue stolen from downtown Venice has been recovered thanks to detective work from both Venice and Sarasota Police.

The theft of the statue was captured on camera at 4 a.m. on May 18. In the video one of the individuals is observed breaking the statue off the base before carrying it away to a nearby car. Detectives were able to use area cameras to identify the car and driver. Both individuals were ultimately located and confessed to the crime, They told investigators the statue was thrown in the water near the Ringling Bridge.

Sarasota Police officers got the information and their dive team managed to recover Sophia near Bird Key. The statue did suffer some damages that will need to be repaired.

Ryan M. Bartley and Victor L Klein, both of Bradenton, have both been arrested and charged.