Elk statue, 800 lbs., dislodged, stolen from N.J. Elks lodge

Head of Elks Lodge statue that was stolen from the roof of a Rutherford, N.J. lodge, presumably for scrap metal
CBS New York
(CBS) RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Thieves recently stole an 800-pound  statue of an elk from the roof of a northern New Jersey Elks lodge.

The question that needs to be answered is - literally - how did they pull it off? 

For more than 60 years, the metal statue adorned Elks Lodge 547 in Rutherford, CBS New York reports.

"The elk would be standing on the roof with lights on it facing the train station with his antlers spread, welcoming them to come and stay at the Elks if they were a member Elk," Richard Rovito, who is a member, told the station.

(For the uninitiated, the Elks are a social and service organization that raises millions of dollars for charities every year.)

"Just before (hurricane) Sandy a few of us got onto the roof and put it on its side. We were afraid it was going to come down with the high winds. We removed the antlers and head," lodge treasurer Joe Europa said.

The rest of the headless, antlerless statue was left on the roof.  A few days ago, though, members noticed the rest of the statue was gone.

How? Why?

"To be honest with you, I have no idea why someone would want the body of an elk," Rutherford resident Ryan Monaghan said.

Members figure the thieves must have thought the elk was made of a valuable metal that they could sell for big bucks. However, CBS New York says the statue was made of a mix of metals worth less than $200.

Lodge members filed an insurance claim - not for the stolen elk, but for building damage the thieves caused while committing the crime.

"It's just senseless, they did thousands of dollars' worth of damage to the building for an elk that's probably worth maybe $100, and if they needed something we would have gladly given it to them," the lodge treasurer said.

The Elks are collecting money for a new statue. It will be made of aluminum and plastic and should be ready by spring to once again welcome members to the lodge.

The End