Stolen Statues Returned - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Stolen Statues Returned

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WEST RICHLAND, Wash. - A woman was arrested after police said she stole from her dead neighbor.

West Richland Police said she stole six, big wooden statues from her deceased neighbor's front yard.  The victim's family said they are very happy to have the property returned.

The victims sister Cheryl Simons said her brother lived alone and said the wooden statues meant a lot to him.  He died unexpectedly in November at the age of 58.  She said he would have been very upset to know the statues were stolen.

Simons said her brother lived on 42nd Avenue in West Richland.  He collected the statues for the last ten years.  They decorated the front yard until they were stolen a few days after his funeral.

West Richland Detective Theresa Morrell said, "In this case, it was a neighbor that knew what was going on and took advantage of the situation."

Police said Roberta Peters lived across the street from the victim and took the statues.  She allegedly sold them to people in the Tri-Cities.

Morrell said, "She knew the man was deceased.  She knew the family was elderly.  I think she didn't think she would get caught.  It was appalling."

Simons said, "They were hand carved and cost about 1,500 dollars.  They meant a lot to my brother and my parents."

After working on the case for months Detective Morrell personally returned two of the statues to the victim's family Thursday afternoon.

Simons said, "I feel very pleased and very happy and so does my family."

West Richland Police are still looking for one missing wooden statue.