Stolen statue returned to Helmet House

A statue that used to sit outside Helmet House's Calabasas Hills, Calif., headquarters was returned this week, eight years after it was stolen.

The statue, dubbed "The Rider," was one of the first pieces of the "Art in Public Places" program in Calabasas. It was created by sculptor Steve Posson, the designer of the "Glory Days" sculpture at the Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum, and art director Liselotte Bjork-Posson. The statue was stolen from Helmet House in October 2003.

The statue was recovered after Posson was contacted by people who had purchased the piece at an estate sale in suburban Los Angeles. Posson then contacted Helmet House, and the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department renewed their work on the case. The statue was then returned to Helmet House Tuesday by the sheriff's department, damaged from being ripped off its original granite base and missing several pieces, including the male rider's head.

As Helmet House replaced the statue in 2006, it's unknown what the company will do with the original.

"We are thrilled to welcome back the original statue to Helmet House," said Phil Bellomy, vice president and co-founder of Helmet House. "'The Ride' commemorated not just a love of motorcycles, which many of us at Helmet House share and from which we all make our living, but the statue also commemorates the successful journey Helmet House and its staff have taken since our founding in 1969. This statue is also a great example of how art can improve the quality of the community where it is placed. Lastly we'd like to thank Steve Posson for his quick action in helping us get it returned."

With the original statue found, the LA Sheriff's Department is now chasing new leads in the investigation.

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