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Rudolph (statue) recovered, and just in the St. Nick of time

GARDENA, Calif. - Authorities have recovered a wooden Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer statue stolen from a Los Angeles-area neighborhood where it was a seasonal fixture for half a century.

A Los Angeles County sheriff's statement says the statue, which vanished Dec. 12, was found Monday standing atop a trailer home in the city of Gardena. Detectives obtained a search warrant, collected the statue and arrested the homeowner.

The Daily Breeze reports that, in the meantime, a resident used photos of the stolen Rudolph to speedily build a replacement that was placed Sunday atop the Ranchview neighborhood sign in the city of Rolling Hills Estates.

The newspaper says versions of Rudolph have marked Christmas in the neighborhood for more than 50 years.

The sheriff's statement says the theft case will be presented to prosecutors on Wednesday, Christmas Eve, and the suspect, identified as Sandro Gonzalez, is expected in court, according to CBS Los Angeles.

Rudolph will undoubtedly be elsewhere.

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