600-pound bronze moose stolen in San Diego

Bronze moose stolen
Statues of Buddha, though not as rare as this one from the 4th century BCE, have been disappearing in San Diego County

(CBS/AP) SAN DIEGO - What do you do with a 600-pound bronze moose? If it's too big for the living room, there's always the front yard. But then you may be the victim of art theft, as was the case in California where thieves have been on a statue-stealing spree.

San Diego County authorities are looking for art thieves who have made off with at least 18 metal, wood and concrete statues - including a 600-pound bronze moose.

The estimated value of the statues is $44,000.

The North County Times reports the thieves have been operating since October, with most of the thefts occurred in San Marcos and Ramona.

The artworks included Buddha yard statutes, a life-sized aluminum colt, a 3-foot-tall statue of the Virgin Mary and a copper statue of three children valued at $15,000.

Detectives suspect that the metal works may have been broken up and sold to recyclers, while the other pieces might have been resold intact.