UPDATE: Police replace stolen butterfly bench from retirement ho - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

UPDATE: Police replace stolen butterfly bench from retirement home

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UPDATE: After a butterfly bench was stolen from an Iowa retirement home, a police chief made sure to replace it.

West Liberty Police Chief, Kary Kinmonth, hasn't given up on finding the thief who took the butterfly bench from outside the Golden Years Retirement Home but he did orchestrate a new bench for the home with the help of Matt Cleverley, of Studio 17, out of Mitchellville.

Cleverley designed and created a wooden bench, keeping the butterfly theme of the originally stolen bench, for the home. Kinmonth said the finishing touches are being put on the bench before it will be delivered on behalf of the West Liberty Police Department.


(ORIGINAL STORY) One Iowa police chief is calling a thief "the lowest of the low," after they took a decorative, meaningful bench from a retirement home.

"You're stealing from grandmas and grandpas? That's pretty low-life. Messing with kids, messing with seniors, you don't get any lower than that," West Liberty Police Chief, Kary Kinmonth, said.

Between late Wednesday night and Thursday morning, an iron bench, shaped as a butterfly, was stolen from outside of the Golden Years Retirement Home in West Liberty. The bench had been given to one of its residents years ago by her daughter, but she put the bench out front for all the residents to use.

Chief Kinmonth said all theft cases are thoroughly investigated, but this case is getting a little extra attention from him because of who the victims are.

"You don't steal from anybody anyways, but you darn sure don't do it from the grandmas and grandpas," Chief Kinmonth said.

Chief Kinmonth took to the West Liberty Police Department's Facebook page more than once urging them to bring the bench back. He had hoped the bench would have been returned Friday morning, but it wasn't.

The bench sat outside of the home Judy Becker for the last three years. The great-grandmother said it was her favorite spot to drink coffee and listen to the birds, and also was where she would sit and talk with her brother during his visits.

"It's a possession that we loved, we truly loved," she said. "I don't know how someone can take something from someone and be able to live with themselves. It's sad."

Following the social media posts, Chief Kinmonth said many people from the community have offered to buy or pay for a new bench. He said the first priority is to get the original bench back. If not, he said he and other officers are prepared to make sure they get a new one. 

"If we don't get it back, I'm sure karma will get them sometime," Becker said.

Until then, Chief Kinmonth said he's giving the person who took the bench until the end of the weekend to return it, no questions asked.

"Monday morning, that offer is off the table, and then we will pursue it on a criminal matter. Right now, if you're listening, you have a chance to bring it back. If you don't, we're going to come get you," he said.

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