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Hillcrest store owner is getting her stolen jade Buddha statue back

San Diego police
Posted at 1:51 PM, Mar 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-03 10:42:13-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- Weeks after it was stolen from the front of her shop, a Hillcrest business owner said her prized statue has been recovered by police.

TAP Lighting owner Tammy Packard told 10News that the person suspected of stealing her jade Buddha statue on Feb. 14 attempted to sell the item at an Ocean Beach store on Feb. 27 but was denied.

She said 10News’ story was instrumental in helping the store’s owner react.

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“The owner read the story last Thursday morning, and later that same morning, a guy came in and asked if he would be interested in buying a jade Buddha, and he said, ‘No, we don’t buy off the street.’ But then he remembered the story about my jade Buddha and later called police.”

Packard added, “An officer was nearby and stopped in front of the store and approached the guy who was trying to sell it. He parked his car right in front of the store and was still on the street.”

A San Diego police detective told 10News that officers made contact with the man, identified as 33-year-old Andrew Scott Hartshorn, and learned he had a criminal history.

The detective said officers searched Hartshorn’s vehicle “based on the circumstances surrounding the radio call” and found the Buddha statue inside.

Hartshorn was arrested on suspicion of grand theft and booked into jail, the detective said.

Unfortunately for Packard, she won’t be reuniting with her statue right away because it is still considered evidence in the case. Packard said it will be up to the district attorney to decide when the statue will be released to her, but she is definitely getting it back.

“Hands down, it’s your story that helped get the person that did it,” Packard told 10News. “I can’t thank you enough for running the story. It made people around the community aware … that’s why I’m getting my Buddha back."