Hokie statue

The “What is a Hokie” statue stood outside the Hotel Roanoke & Conference Center. On Wednesday, hotel staff reported that the 5-foot bird was missing.

A statue of a Virginia Tech Hokie Bird perched outside the Hotel Roanoke & Conference Center was reported stolen Wednesday.

Staff told Roanoke police about 5 a.m. that the 5-foot statue, which stood at the south side of the hotel, was gone, according to police. Only the plinth remained.

The theft appears to have happened between 3 and 5 a.m., police said.

No arrests had been made as of Wednesday afternoon.

In 2006, the Blacksburg Partnership economic development group placed 75 Hokie Bird statues around the region.

Over the years, the statues have been a frequent target of vandalism and thefts. In February, a statue that stood outside the Tech Bookstore was snatched.

Made from the same fiberglass mold, most statues weigh about 65 pounds, said Diane Akers, president of the Blacksburg Partnership.

The statue that stood outside the hotel, “What is a Hokie” by local artist Kathy Duncan, had shards of mirrored glass affixed to it.

“This one would have been much, much heavier,” Akers said.

The theft marks three statues Akers knows of that were stolen and never recovered. In 2015, a statue outside a Blacksburg day care center went missing.

Roanoke police ask anyone with information to contact them at 344-8500 or via text beginning with the phrase “RoanokePD” at 274637.

Get breaking news delivered straight to your inbox with our email newsletter.

Recommended for you