Photo courtesy of Body Glove
$5,000 Reward for Stolen Surfer Statue in Redondo Beach
Body Glove founder
Bob Meistrell stepped forward Friday to offer a $5,000
reward for information leading to the safe return of
the George Freeth bust and the arrest and conviction
of those responsible for stealing the icon from the
Redondo Beach pier.
The bronze sculpture
of Freeth, who is credited with bringing surfing to
the United States from Hawaii 100 years ago, was snatched
sometime overnight Wednesday from the pier, where it
has been a fixture since 1977. Meistrell, who owns Dive
N' Surf in Redondo Beach, is distributing reward posters
to other local surf shops, as well as to scrapyards
where the artwork might wind up in exchange for money
for its metals.
Redondo Beach police
believe thieves knocked the bust loose from its concrete
pedestal sometime between midnight and 5 a.m. Thursday.
They had no new leads as of Friday. The bust is thought
to weigh about 100 pounds, but no monetary worth has
Created by sculptor
Terry O'Donnell, an El Camino College teacher who died
in January, the bust was the city's way of honoring
the historic figure who popularized surfing both as
a sport and a culture in the South Bay. Freeth came
to California in 1907 at the age of 23. He also was
a pioneer in lifeguarding, saving 78 lives.
HOW TO HELP:
WHAT: $5,000 reward
for information leading to the safe return of the George
Freeth bust and the arrest and conviction of any guilty
Meistrell at Body Glove, 310-374-3441, Ext. 292 or 277,
201 Herondo St., Redondo Beach, CA 90277; www.bodyglove.com.