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Man arrested in theft, vandalism of Denver’s Martin Luther King Jr. memorial

A 47-year-old man was arrested Thursday in the vandalism and theft from the Martin Luther King Jr. “I Have a Dream” memorial in City Park, Denver police announced Monday.

Robert Duran turned himself in on Thursday, two days after the Denver Police Department released photos of two men suspected in the Feb. 18 theft of bronze sections of the memorial. 

Investigators recovered the three stolen pieces, along with seven additional pieces of bronze artwork stolen from the Joseph Addison Thatcher memorial fountain, after they were sold as scrap metal.

Duran was arrested on suspicion of criminal mischief ranging from $20,000 to $99,999, according to the department.

Investigators are still searching for 67-year-old Herman Duran, who is also a suspect in the case.

The stolen items, which include a bronze panel, torch and angel, were taken sometime in the early hours of Feb. 18 and reported missing on Feb. 21 by city parks maintenance staff.

Police found the items at a local business along with the stolen artwork from the Thatcher memorial fountain, which officers did not know was missing until it was recovered. All of the pieces have been returned to Denver Arts & Venues, which manages the monuments.

The incident was initially investigated as a bias-motivated crime, but police now believe the theft was not motivated by bias because the artwork was sold as scrap metal.

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