Jaguar statue snatched in Del Mar

By Joe Tash

Residents of a home on Stratford Court in Del Mar received a late-night Christmas visit, but not from a jolly man in a red suit and white beard.

Rather, a thief or thieves stole a five-foot-long metal statue of a jaguar which weighed an estimated 120 to 150 pounds. And the theft was likely not a spur-of-the-moment decision, said homeowner Scott Kurtz, because whoever took the statue would have needed bolt cutters to sever an industrial-strength cable he had used to secure the piece.

Kurtz said he believes the theft occurred Sunday night while his family was sleeping inside their home. The statue had been positioned on a wall surrounding the home’s deck, a perch visible to the street and passers by.

“I think the biggest reaction is that someone entered our property and stole from us. How sad that is at any time of the year, but especially on Christmas,” Kurtz said. “It’s sort of a scary thing this sort of thing would happen.”

A screen on a nearby window had been removed, indicating the thief may have intended to break into the home, but was deterred because the window was locked, Kurtz said.

Kurtz said the distinctive jaguar statue had been in the back yard of his home when he purchased it, and he later moved it to the wall so that people in the neighborhood could enjoy it.

“It was a serious piece of art,” Kurtz said, and likely worth several thousand dollars.

Kurtz reported the theft to the Sheriff’s Department, and anyone with information about the statue, or who saw anything unusual in the 700 block of Stratford Court on Sunday night, can call the department’s non-emergency line at (858) 565-5200.