Some swift action by a local Wakefield officer has seen the Lord Ernest Rutherford statue recovered and a man held accountable for its theft.
Police have arrested and charged a 35-year-old man in relation to the theft of the statue in Brightwater on Friday.
He has been charged with theft and wilful damage and is due to appear in the Nelson District Court today.
Police recovered the statue today and it will be taken back to its rightful place at the memorial site.
Lord Ernest Rutherford is one of our most highly regarded New Zealanders and a great scientist of the 20th century.
The memorial honours his legacy and is frequented by both locals and tourists alike, so to see the memorial damaged in such a senseless way was extremely upsetting for Police and the Brightwater community.
We were disappointed to see that his memorial was treated in such a way.
Thankfully, due to some fantastic Police work by our dedicated local officer Constable Jamie White, we were able to resolve this matter overnight.
Constable White took direct action to apprehend the man after he jumped into the flooding Wai-iti River to evade arrest.
Neither party were injured and they were able to make themselves back to shore safely.
We’d like to thank the local community for their assistance in providing information to Police which ultimately helped us find the statue.
It shows the great work that can happen when Police and our communities work together.
Issued by Police Media Centre