Sometime during the third weekend in October, Cynthia Rieth’s family lost a treasured family heirloom to theft. The heirloom, an antique bronze statue of a horse, has been in the family since the early 1900s and was stolen from her front porch.
“My great-grandfather was a horse trader,” Rieth said. “My family has always collected horse statues and this specific one has been in the family for a very long time.”
Rieth said her family has been established in Old North Columbus for several generations, owning property just past Northwood Avenue. Rieth is no stranger to Ohio State; she and her husband both graduated from the university. Rieth’s grandfather was employed by the university for nearly 50 years. Her son, she said, is a fourth-year student in real estate and urban analysis.
The 15-inch, 20-pound statue holds monetary value to the family as well.
“It’s worth around $2,000,” Rieth said. She said the person who stole it might try selling it to antique collectors, which is why she has taped up fliers in local antique shops.
The Rieth family has also gotten Columbus Police involved by filing a police report. Thus far, there are no suspects in the case. Rieth said she believes this was either a drunken prank or the person who stole it knew it was worth a lot of money.
Rieth said the statue was bolted onto a post. The post, which was made of copper, was also stolen that night. Rieth said she noticed many flower pots had been overturned.
The horse statue also has a twin, which they keep inside the home.
Rieth said it was nearly stolen once before.
“Several years ago, someone tried to steal the other horse but they were unsuccessful,” Rieth said. “We now keep it inside because it was damaged.”
The stolen statue is identified as a Marley horse and at the base is the signature of the sculptor, “Coustou.”
Rieth said property owners are trying to rejuvenate the neighborhood and turn around an area that is plagued with thefts and burglaries.
“The city is trying really hard to make this a nice neighborhood,” she said.
Rieth said she hopes someone will recognize the statue and return it to her family. Rieth also has a message for the person who stole her statue.
“You stole it, it does not belong to you, bring it back,” she said. “Have respect for personal property and have respect for the neighborhood.” She plans on pressing charges should they find the person responsible.
If anyone has information about the stolen property, Rieth said to contact Columbus Police at 614-645-4770. There is a $250 reward.
“I’m hoping I will wake up tomorrow and find it on my front porch again,” Rieth said. “That would be really great.”