Stolen stainless steel eagle sculpture found

FRESNO, Calif.

Fresno County Sheriff's Detectives believe thieves may have discarded the bird because of the attention.

It was stolen Tuesday morning in Burrel in western Fresno County. An alert Action News viewer discovered it Wednesday 25 miles away in a Selma vineyard.

Even though the eagle is a bit dinged up Johnny Tacherra is happy to have his prized piece of art back.

The eagle landed beak down in a Selma vineyard on Thompson near Nebraska

David Duke spotted the shiny symbol of freedom near the side of the road. Duke said, "I knew it was stainless or aluminum or something so I went over and looked it and I seen it and then I remember seeing the news last night. It's unmistakable. That thing is awesome."

Duke contacted Selma Police, who alerted Fresno County Sheriff's Deputies.

Johnny Tacherra was thrilled to find his eagle intact. Tacherra said, "You can imagine the joy in my heart, my wife's heart, my kids and everybody else that found out that hey this is awesome."

An investigator dusted the eagle for fingerprints. Tacherra explained, "That sucker was completely polished up to the tee so any fingerprints on it, they're gonna show up."

The eagle's beak was in good condition and the bent feathers he says are no problem. "My business slogan is it can be done so it can be done, it can be fixed."

Detectives believe Tacherra's surveillance video may help lead them to the two men who stole the eagle early Tuesday morning. But now the big bird was back in the trailer from which it was stolen.

After our story ran on Tuesday, Tacherra heard from other farmers and dairymen who recently had been hit. He said, "We're gonna take charge of this out in our area. You might want to think twice about going out to the country thinking about taking something from somebody and the homeowner's gonna say, you know what who cares? It's just a Honda pump, five gallons of gas. We're getting tired of this stuff and we're gonna step up to the plate and take care of business."

The eagle was Johnny Tacherra's first sculpture, a tribute to service men and women. Prior to the theft, someone offered to buy it for $20,000.00.

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