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Ronald Reagan statue in Calif. park vandalized

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. - A bronze statue of former President Ronald Reagan was vandalized early Sunday, according to officials.

Police received a call at approximately 5:30 a.m. Sunday about a possible vandalism in progress at the Bonita Canyon Sports Park.

According to police a witness saw a suspect tie a chain around the top of the statue and the other end to the rear of his vehicle, before trying to pull the statue down.

CBS Station KCBS reports the suspect - described as a male in dark clothing - fled the scene before officers arrived.

Police said the vehicle was a tan pickup with an extended cab, early-2000s model.

A bronze statue of former President Ronald Reagan in Bonita Canyon Sports Park in Newport Beach, Calif., was vandalized early Sunday, Nov. 6, 2011. According to police a man tied a chain to the bronze sculpture and tried pulling it down with a truck. Newport Beach Police Department

It's not known if the suspect was trying to damage the statue or steal it, but officials believe the vandal may have hoped to take off with the statue and sell it as scrap.

It is reportedly worth $60,000.

City workers called to assess damage to the statue decided it had to be removed because it was compromised.

There is no word from officials on when the statue can be replaced and put back on its pedestal.

The statue debuted last month during a dedication memorial to celebrate the former president's 100th birthday.

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