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Items stolen from Martin Luther King Jr. monument in Denver have been recovered, police say

Denver Police Chief Ron Thomas provides update after Items stolen from MLK Jr. monument recovered
Denver Police Chief Ron Thomas provides update after Items stolen from MLK Jr. monument recovered 00:50

The stolen bronze artwork from the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. monument at Denver's City Park has been recovered by the Denver Police Department. The department is now asking for the public's help in their efforts to find and arrest the people responsible.

The vandalized MLK Jr. statue in Denver's City Park Dr. Howard at MLK Commission

The large bronze plaque, the church angel, and the unity torch were all recovered were recovered last Friday. The plaque was cut into four pieces.

Denver police say there are two suspects and so far they have only identified one of them -- 67-year-old Herman Duran. Neither is in police custody yet.

Photos from Denver police show suspect Herman Duran, left, and another so-far unidentified suspect DPD

The monument in Denver's City Park was vandalized on the afternoon Feb. 18, according to police. Remaining in the damage was a gaping hole that used to feature the stolen bronze sculpture.

The items turned up at a business in the Denver metro area that accepts money for scrap metal. The people that sold them to the scrap metal business also sold seven stolen items from a fountain in City Park called the Joseph Addison Thatcher Memorial fountain.

"The theft of the bronze pieces from the Thatcher Memorial fountain was unknown until the recovery of the items from the scrap metal business," Denver police wrote in a news release on Tuesday.

Dr. Vern L. Howard, chair of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Colorado Holiday Commission, says the stolen items have been returned to Edward Dwight, who was the artist who designed the monument, which is titled "I have a Dream."

Dwight said last week that he has created 132 Black memorials around the country and to date a quarter of them have been vandalized. He said one of the pieces that was stolen weighs at least 200 pounds. 

Even with the items recovered, Howard says they will continue with fundraising efforts that are underway for improved lighting and security around the monument.


Denver police had said the bias-motivated crime unit was assisting with the investigation, but they said on Tuesday it appears to not have been a bias-motivated crime.

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