LYNWOOD, Calif. – In a brazen act, a statue of former California State Assemblymember Marco Antonio Firebaugh was stolen from the front of Firebaugh High School in Lynwood over the weekend. The incident occurred just days after an attempted theft was thwarted, leaving the community in shock.
Gudiel Crosthwaite, the Superintendent of the Lynwood Unified School District, took to video on Sunday morning to address the alarming incident. The stolen statue, depicting the late Firebaugh, played a significant role in California’s educational history. Firebaugh, who passed away in 2006, was renowned as one of the authors of AB540, also known as the California Nonresident Tuition Exemption. This legislation granted undocumented students access to in-state tuition at California’s public colleges and universities.
Disturbing photos shared on social media revealed the aftermath of the theft. One image showcased the statue with ratchet straps and rope securing it, while the subsequent photo depicted an empty space where the statue once stood. Although the exact timing of the theft remains unclear, Crosthwaite emphasized that it occurred “not too long ago.”
Adding to the intrigue, the school district disclosed that this was not the first attempt to pilfer the statue. On January 17, the statue was discovered with a yellow rope around its base, signaling a failed endeavor. According to school board member Julián Del Real-Calleros, a vigilant community member interrupted the earlier theft, forcing the would-be thieves to abandon their mission.
In his video message, Superintendent Crosthwaite urged the community to come forward with any information regarding the theft, encouraging them to contact the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Century Sheriff’s Station at 323-568-4800.
This unfortunate incident has left the Lynwood community grappling with the violation of their educational and historical symbol. Authorities are now working diligently to apprehend those responsible for the theft and to restore the statue of Marco Antonio Firebaugh to its rightful place at Firebaugh High School.