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Burning Man Elephant Art Installations Stolen From West Oakland

OAKLAND (KPIX 5) - Jack Champion, a well-known burning man artist, says a man broke into his pickup and took off with the trailer, which had his tools and prized installations inside.

"It's just irreplaceable and it's devastating. It's destroyed me, I'm beside myself. I don't know where I go from here, but I would like to ask the community if they see this, and it's going to be noticeable," said Champion.

The Oakland artist says it took him 10 months to construct the two elephants, which paid homage to the Spanish artist Salvador Dali. The elephants are made of fiberglass and all the work was done by hand. He had planned to leave for Burning Man on Sunday.

Champion says the crime happened just past 1 a.m. on Sunday at 32nd and Hannah Streets in West Oakland. His stolen truck is a 2006 Silver Ford 250 with license plate 8E11419.

He says he caught the car thief in the act, and tried to stop him by hanging on to the driver's side door.

"As an act of desperation, I grabbed onto it, it was probably kind of foolish, because I'm kind of damaged and beat up and can't walk right now," said Champion.

He says he hung on for two blocks, and is too injured to make it to Burning Man this year.

Though he believes the elephants may be discarded in pieces, he hopes someone will locate them to help him get a resolution to the crime.

Champion says he filed a police report. Last year, his same pickup truck was stolen, but he got it back after it was recovered in San Leandro.

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