LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — Two historic bronze lights were taken from the Wells Memorial Library in Lafayette last week. Oscar Winski thinks parts of the lights were sold and processed at the recycling company shortly after.
"The last thing we want is to be receiving stolen goods," said Non-Ferrous Metals Manager Gary Hubbert.
Two stolen lights from the 1920s didn't look like historic lights when they were possibly exchanged for money at Winski last week.
"What they [Winski employees] received were four straps with two round bales on it. So, it didn't look like the ornate fixtures," said Hubbert.
But when the Tippecanoe Arts Federation called Winski to ask about the stolen lights on Friday, employees soon realized what those bronze items really were.
"Everybody felt terrible about it once they found out what it was," said Hubbert. "But there was no way to know what it was at that point and time."
Hubbert said the suspects were questioned like all people who sell items at Winski.
"They said hey, guys, where did this come from, what is this? And they said hey, we just bought a house and we just found this in the basement," said Hubbert.
Since that seemed reasonable to the employees, Winski ended up giving the two men a couple hundred dollars in exchange for the copper two parts.
"What are you going to do? Because it didn't look like some historic piece," said Hubbert.
Oscar Winski wants people to know they are being recorded the whole time. That's why the company has surveillance camera signs posted around the building. All transactions do require photo identification so Winski can help police catch suspects of theft.
"It wasn't just a couple of young kids, it was a couple of respectable kind of looking older gentlemen that had it," said Hubbert when asked about the suspects in the stolen lights at TAF.
Winski turned in everything to police including multiple surveillance recordings and identification information of the two men suspected of stealing the lights.
"We would dearly love to have all of the thieves caught and for this to come to an end," said Hubbert.
Lafayette police are still investigating the incident.
We will update you if any arrests are made in the case.