A Forsyth County man found in possession of a stolen bronze eagle statue was indicted this week on one count of theft by receiving.
Pedro Castro Garcia, 30, of Alpharetta was arrested in September after he gave authorities information that led to the recovery of the missing artwork.
The statue had been reported stolen Aug. 28 from the Bethelview Road trailhead of the Forsyth County Big Creek Greenway.
The eagle was recovered Sept. 19 in good condition from a storage shed at a residence in south Forsyth.
Investigators did not believe Garcia was involved in the theft, but that he had purchased the statue with a suspicion that it might have been stolen.
A local business owner alerted authorities to the statue’s whereabouts after Garcia, who did landscaping work for him, asked if he knew anyone who’d like to buy it.
The businessman said Garcia did not know that statue had been stolen from the county.
The indictment filed Monday in Forsyth County Superior Court states Garcia “knew and should have known was stolen” and that the statue was not “received and retained with the intent to restore it to said owner.”
The bronze sculpture had been on display at the greenway from May 2012 until its theft. It’s 60 inches tall, 54 inches wide, 45 inches deep and weighs about 400 pounds.
Forsyth County leased the statue from local sculptor Gregory Johnson through a fully funded grant from the Forsyth County Arts Alliance for $2,000.
After the recovery, “Inquisitive Eagle” was moved to an indoor location at the Fowler Park Recreation Center until the end of the lease in March.
The sculpture was valued at about $18,500, which makes the charge a felony since the value is greater than $5,000.