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MAYOR REYNOLDS: Three arrests made in vandalism, theft of Hatched Baby statue



Three arrests were made for the vandalism and theft of the Hatched Baby statue, La Crosse Mayor Mitch Reynolds announced Thursday.

The three are between 20-22 years of age:

• Caden M. Boge
– Theft (Felony)
– Possess Stolen Property (Felony)
• Matthew J. Reich
– Criminal Damage to Property (Felony)
– Receiving Stolen Property (Felony)
• Victoria L. Rodewald
– Possess Stolen Property (citation)

Boge and Reich are out on signature bonds, while Rodewald received a citation.

While police have made arrests in this theft, they are still searching for those who stole around $13,000 worth of power cords from the Rotary Lights holiday display going up at Riverside Park.

Hatched Baby was a 9-foot tall statue of a blue baby’s head coming out of an egg. It was valued at $23,000. The art had stood outside the La Crosse Police Department since 2018 before being taken down last month.

La Crosse Police discovered the vandalism around 7 a.m. on Sept. 12, where the head had been removed from the egg. The face had been ripped off the head and taken. On Sept. 13, the face was discovered in a guy’s yard on King Street, where police recovered it.

The egg of Hatched Baby, outside the La Crosse Police Department, after vandals tore off the head and stole the face last month. (PHOTO: Rick Solem)

Police told WIZM there is no video of the vandalism. Reynolds told WIZM the camera in that area was not working at that time.

Pictures of the face in someone’s living room and laundry room showed up on an Instagram account known for posting odd, “funny” videos and memes from La Crosse. Those pics were taken down shortly thereafter.

These two pictures showed up on social media shortly after the vandalism, thefts were discovered. (Screenshot)

The only one other time has Hatched Baby had been vandalized, was when someone who was underage and intoxicated punched the statue, denting its temple.

Wolfgang Auer is the artist who donated the statue. He is from La Crosse’s sister city of Friedberg, Germany. Auer was inspired to create Hatched Baby after his daughter’s birth. It was meant to represent some the anxieties that come with parenthood.

He told the city the statue could not be repaired, though some local artists have discussed trying to restore the statue.

Hatched Baby as seen from the sixth floor of City Hall.

Host of WIZM's La Crosse Talk PM | University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point graduate | Hometown: Greenville, Wis | Avid noonball basketball player and sand volleyballer in La Crosse

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