Surveillance footage showed two men stealing the cannon by putting it in a pickup truck.
Authorities have recovered a World War I-era cannon that was stolen from Veterans Memorial Hall in Richmond, Calif.
The cannon was stolen May 1 and weighs about a ton, and has been outside the building for the past 70 years, according to news reports.
The cannon is made out of brass and iron and was apparently hauled off int he back of a pickup truck. An unidentified man from a nearby city called the Richmond Police Department later saying that the cannonw as in his front yard after he had paid $1,200 for it, not realizing it was stolen until he saw the reports.
Authorities are still investigating the theft, and the people who stole it remains on the run.
The 5-foot-tall cannon had been on display at the veteran’s hall since 1947. Surveillance video showed two men using bolt cutters to cut the cannon free, and then loaded it into a pickup truck.
The Richmond Police Department posted the following thank-you note on its Facebook page on May 12:
THANK YOU FOR YOUR ASSISTANCE
Yesterday, we asked for your help in locating a WW I era cannon that was stolen from the Richmond Veterans Memorial Hall on 23rd St. NBC Bay Area’s Jodi Hernandez helped us and pushed the story out on mainstream media. We told the story via our department Facebook, Nextdoor, Instagram and Twitter.
Today (5/12/16), we received several tips regarding the stolen cannon. We also received a phone call from a gentleman who saw the story air on NBC; he realized the cannon he bought a few days ago for $1,200 was the cannon that was stolen from the Veterans Hall. This gentleman was more than helpful and felt absolutely horrible he had inadvertently bought a stolen piece of American history.
RPD Property Crimes Detective T. Kaiser, Detective Sergeant E. Russell and Detective P. Martin went out to the City of Martinez and recovered the cannon. The cannon was brought back to the same location it had stood guard for almost 70 years and returned to the rightful owners – the brave men and women who fought for our country and our freedom – our military veterans.
The detectives are working hard on leads to solve this case.
We want to thank NBC Bay Area, our community residents, residents in the Bay Area and the gentleman who did the right thing and called us. You are all amazing people and we appreciate all your help. This is a great example of community policing – community, media and police working in harmony