$2,000 crafted owl returned to Independence Co. man

$2,000 crafted owl stolen from Independence Co. man

INDEPENDENCE COUNTY, Ark. (KAIT) - A $2,000 crafted owl that had been missing since earlier this month was found this week, according to authorities.

Independence County Sheriff Shawn Stephens said Thursday that the owl was found in the Magness area and returned to Joe Dominguez.

Dominguez, a Batesville woodcarver, had searched high and low after someone stole a custom-made barred owl he created.

“I work hard for my son and I just want it back," said Dominguez.

The search has been going on since Feb. 19 and he even believed it may have been out of state.

But, he said it would not stop him from getting the word out to try to get it back.

The sound of wood being carved is a norm for those who live in Dominguez’s neighborhood. Davis Lane residents see him outside almost daily.

“Each piece is one of a kind,” Dominguez said, who has been a carver for more than 15 years.

From different animals to custom-made pieces, he says if you can think it, he can make it.

Recently, a customer asked him to make a barred owl.

Dominguez started with a black walnut log, carved it and painted it with acrylic paint.

The owl took him two months to finish.

The night before he was to hand it over to the buyer, someone stole the owl out of his yard.

“In a matter of a couple of hours it was gone," Dominguez said.

He says for 9 years he has left his wood pieces outside and they’ve never been touched. He will never make that mistake again.

It doesn’t help that the buyer already paid a hefty $2,000 for it.

“I’m just a poor woodcarver trying to support my son and they take what little...I work so hard and they take it,” Dominguez said.

He filed a police report with the Independence County Sheriff’s Office and had posted signs around the neighborhood, offering a $500 reward.

“God is just, and justice will be served," Dominguez said. “Either in this life or the next.”

He continues to post online and hoped that it would be returned in perfect shape.

“They didn’t work for it, they didn’t earn it and they are enjoying something that doesn’t belong to them,” Dominguez said.

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