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Four ‘Child’ Art Pieces Kidnapped From Cerritos Shopping Center

Stolen Art 2

An empty concrete platform is all that remains from a popular art sculptures a shopping center on South Street and Carmenita Road in Cerritos. Randy Economy Photo

By Brian Hews

An iconic art display that features children in a marching band has had four of its members stolen from the concrete pedestals in which they have merrily stood at a Cerritos shopping center for the past 15 years.

Cerritos city officials are now investigating who was responsible for “kidnapping” the three  individual copper sculptures that have adorned a South Street and Carmenita Road commercial center.

Their children’s names are Rally, Sunni and Buster.

The art pieces portray a group of children marching with pots and pans in a parade line including figures that depict a child in a wheelchair and a little dog and a girl serving as a drum major.

Over the last 2 months, four child sculptures have been lifted from the location that is located next to a popular coffee house.  The latest piece stolen took place sometime this week, apparently in the middle of the night.

IMG_5995A top Cerritos city official told Los Cerritos Community Newspaper that the value of the stolen pieces could be worth up to $40,000.00.  The city official did not want to be publicly identified, but they told LCCN that they “were heartbroken” to see the popular art pieces stolen.

Dianne Padelford Young, who is the property owner of the shopping complex, told LCCN that the art display was one of the last projects her brother Doug Padelford completed before his sudden death nearly five years ago.  “This was one of the last things Doug completed before he died so it is of sentimental value to all of us,” Young said.  The Padelford’s are considered to be the “first family” of Artesia, since their father, the late A.J. Padelford was the first person to ever serve as mayor of that municipality more than 50 years ago.

One of the pieces that still remain at the site depicts a little boy in the wheelchairs who still remains placed in concrete.

Young pointed out that “with the skyrocketing costs of copper, to replace just one of the missing child art pieces, is half the cost of the entire piece when it was new.”

Stolen Art

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5 Comments on "Four ‘Child’ Art Pieces Kidnapped From Cerritos Shopping Center"

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McMahon, J.
Wednesday, April 17, 2013 Talked with some employees in the mall where the sculpture is being displayed. Since the owner of the mall is an appointee of the Cerritos Economic Commission, appointed by Senior George Ray, there is a huge conflict of interest. Mr. Paddleford is not a resident of Cerritos, but resides in Artesia and businesses all throughout Socal. Mall employees are asking, why the special treatment to Artesia Resident in to Cerritos Politics? Also, (R) Senior George Ray voted to dismiss a former FAC, (D) Mr. Fuentes, for personality issues. Not a reason to steal, but when residents… Read more »
Andrew Perry

I’m not exactly sure what FLF is implying, but I’m reasonably sure that the people who do this type of thing are typically drug addicts; and drugs addicts come from all over.


When my wife and I first saw these items a number of years ago we both wondered how long it would take the ner-do-wells from around the hoods to steal them. Anyone can fill in the blanks on who the perps may be and where they are from.. Three guesses at who they are, where from etc, and the first two guesses do NOT COUNT..

By now all stolen stuff is fenced.. and statues are melted down. The preps got what they wanted.. more free money (loot) to stuff up their noses..

McMahon, J.
Tuesday, April 16, 2013. Sad story, least who ever did this crime, had respect for the Handicap! Remember, Forest Lawn Cemetery have had many tombstones stolen and nude David has been vandalized. Auto Mall sculpture fountain has remained vanished, after closure and sale of dealership during recession. Wonder if this piece was not part of a non-disclosed lien sale. Surprised, this South St. location, as this area is flooded with flood light; but location and timing is everything in the art of steal: Location is close to freeway and timing, well the center is closed during the night time hrs.… Read more »
McMahon, J.
Thursday, April 18, 2013 RE: FAC Mentioned that the children’s sculpture assembly was privately owned, except for the handicap child, donated by the city. Unreal, we are being serviced by the Cerritos Sheriffs, under the lead County Supervisor Knabe, which lives blocks away. Sheriffs roll by Knabe’s home, (( HOURLY )); yet this crime of children’s statues occurred. Hmm, the Museum pad was robbed over past 4th July Weekend, adj to the Sheriffs Sub Station in Cerritos. Both of these areas do not allow for street parking, (Day|Night). My pt, overnight parking ordinance does not decrease crime! Gudandi Sculpture… Read more »