A pony statue weighing a quarter ton is back to its home in Richmond. Last month, the massive piece was stolen from a yard on Riverside Drive. However, a viewer who saw NBC12's story recognized the missing pony in someone else's backyard.
"I'm more tearful today because I'm so joyful," said Gail Neal, owner of the 500 pound, cement statue. "(The statue getting stolen) was heart breaking because it's been here almost 12 years."
Wednesday morning, Jeffrey Troxell spotted the statue while searching for scrap metal in an alley near the City Stadium. Neighbors say the pony was abandoned, about the same time it went missing. Police say one resident took it on his property.
Troxell wasn't sure if it was the same pony he saw in the newscast, so he pulled up the story online.
"…Printed out a copy of the picture… came over and looked at the pony…and notified the Richmond Police Department," said Troxell.
An officer moved quickly to reign in the missing pony case. The policeman, tow-truck driver and a friend of Neal pushed the pony off the truck, and pulled it back into place. Neal was overwhelmed with gratitude.
In a phone conversation with Troxell, Neal thanked him. "I am so happy. Thank you so much for finding it, calling the police. I'm so very happy with the police... It's here. Thank you, thank you, so very, very much," she told the stranger who made her day for his astute effort.
Police are still investigating who hauled off the horse in the first place. Meantime, Neal's horse stands, once again, across from Pony Pasture Rapids Park.
Neal says she's going to have the statue tightly secured, and moved somewhere else.
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