Tybee Island police are investigating the theft of a public art statue, and the Tybee Turtle Tour has organized a reward of $1,000 for information leading to arrest of the perpetrators. Early on June 7, someone stole a fiberglass statue of a sea turtle that stood in front of the Tybee Island Marine Science Center. The statue is titled Ma Cootah enn Lee’ Ones, which means “Mother turtle and little ones” in the Gullah language. When police arrived, they found the statue’s base abandoned in the parking lot, along with a few random pieces from the artwork. The statue was one of several that are being set around Tybee as part of the Tybee Turtle Tour, a community art project sponsored by the Tybee Arts Association. The mission of the project is to save turtles through ecological education in a public art form. The statue was recovered two days later by Allen Tatum and Malcom McDowell, who were crabbing at the edge of the marsh on Spanish Hammock. The statue was taken to city hall.
Rebecca Rice, co-chair of the Tybee Turtle Tour, says the statue will be repaired. Rice says the statue is irreplaceable. “The artist, Don Josephson, took two and a half months with that paint job,” she says. “Because we have many more (turtle statues) going up, and we want the community to know we are serious,” Rice says. “When they attack our turtles, they attack Tybee.”
If you have information about the theft, call Tybee Police at 786-5600.
• A man was driving near the intersection of Cloverdale Drive and Elmore Street when a teen boy threw a hammer at his car, hitting the trunk. The hammer put two dents in the car’s trunk. The victim said the suspect ran off with the hammer and in the company of a young girl. An officer found a boy and girl who matched the description given by the victim. The boy had two hammers on his person. He was arrested and released to the custody of his mother. In the officer’s presence, the boy admitted throwing the hammer at the car because his girlfriend “wanted him to throw the hammers at vehicles.”
• A Scarborough Street resident called police after her husband’s diamond ring disappeared while carpet and tile were being laid in her house. The woman said she had contracted a crew from a local carpet business to do the work. She said all had gone well until she realized her husband’s ring was missing. The woman said she contacted someone at the carpet business, who arranged a meeting with the crew leader of the project. The crew leader said at the meeting he would pay for the ring since “one of his guys probably took it.” The woman said she has not seen the crew leader since. The man from the carpet business also has not had any contact with the man, but was able to provide information on the identities of the rest of the work crew that had been at the woman’s house when the theft occurred.
• An officer was sent to the area of Abercorn and President streets after a concerned citizen observed a woman using cocaine in her vehicle. The citizen told police that the woman had just driven away and was heading south down Abercorn Street. In the meantime, another officer made a traffic stop of the woman’s car at the intersection of Bull and Hull streets because her windshield was cracked. The woman agreed to allow her car to be searched. She was walked to the front of a police van so she could not interfere with the search. While speaking to the woman, one of the officers noticed she had blood inside both nostrils. She also was very protective of her purse, but when asked if the officer could look inside the purse, she agreed and handed it over. Inside was a black cloth bag with a red drawstring. Inside the bag was a clear plastic bag with two silver vials and three small plastic straws. The plastic bag had a powdery residue throughout its inside. The woman was asked what was in the vials, but she just looked at the ground. Then she was asked, “How much cocaine is in here?” She replied, “It was an eight-ball” that cost about $250 and would last her about a week and a half. She was arrested. ç