Parthenon Gyros’ 3-foot statue stolen, returned unharmed

Parthenon Gyros’ 3-foot statue stolen, returned unharmed
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A downtown Madison eatery decided not to press charges against a man who reportedly took a statue from the restaurant in the early-morning hours earlier this month.

Madison police said surveillance video showed a man placing the Aphrodite statue at Parthenon Gyros, 316 State St., into his jacked at 3:10 a.m. on April 2.

Police used a receipt from the time of the crime to track down a man who was with the suspected statue thief. Using the video and restaurant transaction information, police knew what the friend was wearing, what he ate and his name. He passed the officer’s message to his friend, who called police and said the statue was in his apartment.

Police said the man tried to say he didn’t know how Aphrodite ended up in his apartment, but the officer said the restaurant had surveillance video of him taking it.

He told the officer retrieving Aphrodite that he was embarrassed. Parthenon owners didn’t want to press charges as long as the 3-foot Aphrodite statue returned in good condition. The statue-taker said he as grateful there wouldn’t be any legal trouble.

The officer placed the goddess figure in his squad passenger seat and belted her in.

“Employees were in disbelief that Aphrodite was located and unharmed,” the officer wrote in the report.

Police said Aphrodite was placed back on her perch above the trash receptacles at the State Street Parthenon.

The diner who took the statue told the officer he wouldn’t make that mistake again.