Statue thief caught

Frank Phillips and one of the statues he is alleged to have stolen. (courtesy CCSO)
Frank Phillips and one of the statues he is alleged to have stolen. (courtesy CCSO)

Technology helped defeat a statue thief who hit the same home twice, but the yard decorations are now back where they belong, thanks to a detective.

Frank M. Phillips of 2421 Willoughby Rd., Tabor City, is being held under a $3,000 bond, charged with felony obtaining property by false pretense and misdemeanor larceny, according to a sheriff’s office release. He was arrested Oct. 9.

On July 27, Annie Norris, 90, contacted the sheriff’s office after 10 statues and several concrete benches disappeared from her property on Willoughby Road. Some of the statues were five feet tall, according to the report.

On Sept. 21, Mrs. Norris called 911 again after more statues went missing – but this time, a family member had installed security cameras on the property.

Video showed Phillips and his Nissan Altima on the property. The car had distinctive body damage and paint that led detectives to the suspect.

When detectives interviewed Phillips, he confessed to taking the statues, and selling them for an undisclosed amount of cash. All the statues were recovered and returned to Mrs. Norris.

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About Jefferson Weaver 1386 Articles
Jefferson Weaver is the Managing Editor of Columbus County News and the News Director for WTXY AM1540 & Kool 103.9FM Radio. He can be reached at (910) 632-4965, or by email at