SAN JOSE (KCBS) – Five suspected gang members have been charged in connection with the theft of some 20 handcrafted metal statues stolen along with the artist’s vehicle, according to police.

The suspects were arrested outside a metal shop by detectives with the Regional Auto Theft Task Force of the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Department who had spotted the stolen Nissan Quest minivan, said sheriff’s spokesman Sgt. Rick Sung.

“These sculptures are made out of scrap metals and unused parts for motorcycles and vehicles, basically all handcrafted,” Sung said.

KCBS’ Mike Colgan Reports:

They were trying to sell several of the statues, which depict action figures and animals. Sung said each statue was worth anywhere from $115 and $165.

The artist, who did not want to be interviewed by reporters, was visiting family in San Jose when his minivan was stolen on Sunday, according to police.

Detectives came across the minivan and made the arrests the next day, Sung said. Police later found the rest of the artist’s statues, and other stolen equipment, at the home of one of the suspects.

(© 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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