SPRINGFIELD, Ill, (IRN) — A copper sword stolen two months ago from atop Abraham Lincoln’s tomb in Springfield has been recovered.
A 16-year-old boy, whose name won’t be released, told investigators the sword came loose when he grabbed it, and it fell to the ground breaking into two pieces. It was returned to the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency during a news conference at Springfield Police headquarters Tuesday.
Catherine Shannon, the agency’s acting director, says she was shocked to learn the sword has been recovered, and doesn’t know if it’ll be repaired.
“We do appreciate the citizen who came forward. We actually had a couple of people offering to replace the sword for free,” she says. “We were very grateful for that.”
Police say a series of tips led investigators to the boy, who has been charged with theft and criminal trespassing. Springfield Police Chief Robert Williams says security has been increased at the cemetery for now, but the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency says its budget is getting smaller, and permanent enhancements probably won’t be possible.
The sword held by the statue of a Civil War soldier has been stolen once before, in 1890.
Vandals Strike Lincoln’s Tomb, Steal Copper Sword
Copyright Illinois Radio Network