A Utah Harley-Davidson dealer is missing an unusual monument, but the police chief in Lindon says it’s most likely not a criminal matter.
Initially reported as a theft, police later determined that artist Jeff Decker, who owns Hippodrome Studios in Springville, Utah, had brought in a crane to remove it.
The confusion seems to owe to a discrepancy in paperwork related to the dealership’s bankruptcy last year.
“Somehow the artwork was listed as an asset of the business, which went through a bankruptcy,” Lindon Police Chief Cody Cullimore said. “We are, of course, preparing to screen the case with prosecutors, and will know more after that time.”
Cullimore said officers suspected the missing 6-foot-long bronze wasn’t just a theft because of the circumstances.
“We knew this dealership was going through the bankruptcy [and] it’s such an unusual thing to steal,” he said. Decker had gone to the dealership two weeks ago to demand the statue back, but left empty-handed.
The store was sold out of bankruptcy to new owners in November, Cullimore said, and “we have a copy of the agreement that said it was loaned to the dealership for display purposes.”
Bankruptcy documents listed the statue as an asset of the business and valued it at $100,000.
“It appears right now that the whole thing will possibly be a civil case and not a criminal case,” said Cullimore. “The artist basically repossessed the work, which was by written agreement, on loan to be displayed.”
The fledgling dealership originally opened as Monarch Harley-Davidson. New owners took control and changed the name of the 60,000-square-foot store in July 2008, according to the dealer’s website.
Owner/GM Rick Story bills the dealership, built partly with materials salvaged from a steel plant that was demolished from 2005 to 2007, as “Utah’s Only Harley-Davidson Resort.” He offers this description of it on the website:
“Built with reclaimed steel, trusses and fixtures taken from the old Geneva Steel plant and an old, steel water tower, Timp Harley has a historic feel that appeals to anyone who loves history, especially Harley-Davidson Motorcycles. But this dealership is anything but dated, with new technologies and amenities including a riders' lounge, which will have places to shower and check e-mail.”
Cullimore expressed sympathy for the original dealership owners.
“They sunk all these millions of dollars into this place right as the economy went down,” he said.
This statue, shown without its granite base, was taken from outside the dealership. The bronze alone is estimated to weigh 800-plus pounds.