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Lion statue stolen from Fleming Island boutique returned

Thieves seen on security video walking off with heirloom, owner says

FLEMING ISLAND, Fla. – A lion statue stolen from a Clay County store has been returned.

Cose Belle owner Jennifer Castillo said that the statue was dropped off at the end of the shopping center, out of reach from the surveillance cameras.

The initial theft of the lion statue was caught on camera. Three people can be seen in surveillance video stealing the lion statue from in front of Cose Belle, whose owner says it’s not just a statue, but a family heirloom.

Castillo said that her 90-year-old grandmother gave her a pair of lion statues.

“I remember the first time my grandmother actually came here to see my store. She knows me, so she knew it would be nice," Castillo said. "But she had no idea just how nice, you know, I’ve made it.”

Castillo said that when saw the security video, she couldn't believe it.

“The gentleman got in the car, backed up a little bit and one of the females wobbled taking the lion over to the car and they loaded it in the trunk,” Castillo said.

Castillo said that for the past two years her focus has been on running the store and supporting her family. She said she didn’t immediately notice the lion was missing until a client told her one of the statues was gone.

“I feel as though, basically, a piece of me is kind of missing now," Castillo said. 

Castillo is offering a reward to get the lion back. The other lion in the set was broken just a few days before the theft of the second. Castillo said a worker hit it and broke it.