Cannon Ball Swiped from Benton Statue...Again

FEBRUARY 9, 2007 - Posted at 7:45 a.m. CST

BENTONVILLE, Ark. (AP) - A 90-pound cannonball replica that adorns the base of a Confederate soldier statue in Bentonville has gone missing...again.

The missing cannonball is one of four that decorates the statue, which is in Bentonville Square next to Sam Walton's original Wal-Mart store.

The thousand-dollar granite cannonball seems to be a popular item for pranksters to swipe, but city officials say they won't prosecute whoever took the cannonball. They just want it back.

Benton County Judge Gary Black says the statue just doesn't look right without its fourth cannonball.

The statue is listed on the National Registry of Historic Places, so the theft of the cannonball is technically a federal offense.

After repeated thefts, officials bolted the four cannonball replicas to the statue about a decade ago, but that didn't stop the thief this time.

Black says it appears that the thief rolled the cannonball back and forth until he or she was able to remove it.

Officials are offering a 200 dollar reward for the return of the cannonball.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)