THOMASVILLE -- It could not have happened at any time other than the dark of night.

Brazen thieves took advantage of darkness Thursday night or early Friday morning to literally lift the large bronze horse from the entrance of Shallowbrook Farms subdivision on U.S. 319 South, two miles south of Thomasville.

"It's the statue for the neighborhood," said Thomas County Sheriff's Department Investigator Jason Shoudel. "It makes the neighborhood."

According to Deputy Mike Lapham, the first to respond to the theft, the huge horse was lifted from the concrete based to which it was bolted.

"There were no drag marks, no nothing," Lapham explained.

Shoudel said the removal required a lever or crane system for lifting, along with lots of manpower.

"They had to have a large truck of some kind," the investigator said, in reference to how the bronze horse might have been removed.

Thieves might have loaded the statue into a trailer, Lapham said.

Lawmen said anyone with information about the horse is asked to call 225-3333.

Also, Shoudel explained, a motorist passing by the site might have unknowingly witnessed activity involving to horse's removal. Anyone who thinks they might have seen something also should call 225-3333.

The horse, valued at $4,000, probably was six feet high and eight feet long.

What would someone do with a huge, heavy bronze horse?

Shoudel is not sure, but he thinks thieves might plan to melt the object down for the value of the bronze. The horse first would have to be broken in manageable pieces.

"But who would have the means to do something like that?" the investigator wondered aloud.

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