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Thieves rustle 3 steel horses from Montana hill

Wednesday - 12/18/2013, 6:52pm  ET

In this photo taken on Monday, Dec. 16, 2103, sculptor Jim Dolan, from Belgrade, Mont., poses for a photo with his steel horse herd sculptures that are on display on a hillside near Three Forks, Mont. Dolan, who spent about 15 months making them, recently discovered that three of his sculptures have been stolen. (AP Photo/Bozeman Daily Chronicle, Mike Greener)

BOZEMAN, Mont. (AP) -- Thieves have rustled three life-size steel horse sculptures from a herd of 39 installed on a hill north of Three Forks in southwestern Montana.

Belgrade sculptor Tom Dolan said he went out to the display with a professional photographer Monday and discovered the sculptures of two horses and a colt were missing. He believes they were taken within the previous week.

"I really couldn't believe somebody would actually steal them," Dolan told the Bozeman Daily Chronicle (http://bit.ly/1bOm7z8 ).

The horses were anchored to the ground. Dolan said it appears the thieves hammered them out and moved them with carts.

"It's just pretty frustrating," Dolan said. "We're kind of in shock. Where do we go from here? How do I protect them?"

He's hoping somebody saw something.

The horses were made of recycled steel and painted blue and black. Manes and tails were created out of nylon rope. Bearings on some of the horses' shoulders allow their heads to move with the wind.

The sculptures weigh between 250 and 450 pounds. Dolan estimates the missing ones are worth a total of $50,000 to $60,000.

Dolan placed the sculptures on the hill on Wheat Montana Farms property north of Three Forks in September.

"They're not for sale," he said at the time. "I just did it as a gift to the people of Montana from me."

The Broadwater County sheriff's office is investigating.

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Information from: Bozeman Daily Chronicle, http://www.bozemandailychronicle.com


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