T.J.C students and Smith Co. work to solve a $30,000 theft crime - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

T.J.C students and Smith Co. work to solve a $30,000 theft crime

It was fifteen years ago that T.J.C. lost a symbolic, monumental, piece of art.

Former T.J.C. President Dr. Harry Jenkins, went missing, says J.B Smith, a Smith County Sheriff, "We want that statue back."

It's not just any ordinary statue, "It's a piece of art and history, it's worth a lot of money, it would be great to put it back where it belongs," says T.J.C. President, Dr. Mike Metke.

And it comes with a $5,000 reward. The reward is high but T.J.C. feels like this $30,000 statue will be worth much more once it's back on campus.

"My recommendation would be we put him in Jenkins hall and we put him inside, so yes, we are excited about getting him back, and we will make sure we keep him," says Dr. Metke.

T.J.C. Criminal Justice students will be working with Smith County officials, and Crimestoppers to help find Dr. Jenkins.

Crimestoppers Chair, David Dobbs says, "This is an educational pursuit, that's what we do and this gives us an opportunity to have our students to go from theory to practical experience."

"Usually there's one good side of the law and one bad side of the law, and I'd rather be on this side trying to help," says T.J.C. student Diana Biggs.

To encourage any suspects that may have stolen the statue, officials make a deal.

"We just want Dr. Jenkins back, nobody has to worry about going to jail, so if you took it, give me a call," says Smith County Sheriff, Lieutenant Dana.

College officials hope to recover the statue during the yearlong celebration of T.J.C's 85th anniversary.

If you have any information, please call Smith County Crimestoppers.

Copyright 2011 KLTV. All rights reserved.

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