Stainless steel eagle sculpture stolen

FRESNO, Calif.

The eagle was on display at the Big Fresno Fair and was also recently shown at the Clovis veterans art show.

The locked trailer was no match for thieves in the farming community of Burrel.

Metal stands custom welder Johnny Tacherra makes and rents for wedding receptions were still there but his 7-foot stainless steel eagle was missing. Tacherra explained, "I came back at 5:30 to the shop here and said why is that door open on my trailer? That sucker was locked up. When I got closer I was like no way, I had tears come to my eyes. It was just terrible."

The eagle holding the constitution in its claws was the first sculpture he's ever done. Tacherra said, "I'm not in the art world at all period. I'm just a farm boy."

Still, someone offered to buy it for $20,000.00. "I'm just so proud of all the men and women that serve our country and stuff and I thought this was a cool way for me to express myself."

Tacherra's also had batteries and metal, even hay bales taken from his place. Rural crime has become such a big problem Tacherra had surveillance cameras installed on his property so now detectives at least have something to work with.

Shortly after 3:00 a.m., two men broke into the trailer and spotted the steel eagle. They stepped away for a moment to try to steal gas from his pump but it was empty.

The men were in a dark colored pickup truck. Tacherra said, "It looks like an S-10 pickup."

Moments later the two men, one taller than the other, were spotted carrying away the brightly polished eagle. The sculpture weighed about 200 pounds.

Tacherra said, "My poor kids they all wrote me letters. We're sorry dad this happened. You'll make it today. You'll have a better day. We'll find these guys."

Tacherra has notified recycling yards of the theft and hopes the surveillance video helps detectives solve the crime.

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