Arrest Made in Theft of Statue of Buddha Valued at $1.5 Million

The four-foot bronze statue, which was recovered Saturday, was stolen from a West Hollywood art gallery on Sept. 18

<p>google maps</p> Arrest made in theft of bronze Buddha statue taken from West Hollywood art gallery.

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Arrest made in theft of bronze Buddha statue taken from West Hollywood art gallery.

An arrest has been made following the recovery of a Buddha statue stolen from an art gallery near West Hollywood, Calif.

Justin Livick has been arrested on suspicion of possession of stolen property, the Los Angeles Police Department says, according to KTLA, CBS and City News Service. The 44-year-old was cited and released from custody early Sunday morning after the statue was recovered from a truck found at an undisclosed location on Saturday.

The statue, valued at $1.5 million, was taken from Barakat Gallery during the early hours of Monday, Sept. 18. The theft was caught on camera.

The gallery did not immediately return PEOPLE's request for comment.

Police told KTLA that it is not yet clear whether Livick allegedly stole the statue or received it from a third party.

It's not immediately clear if Livick has entered a plea or retained an attorney.

The four-foot-tall bronze artifact, reportedly weighing around 250 lbs., was stolen from the Southern California gallery shortly before 4 a.m. Security camera footage appeared to show a rented moving van had been placed near the gallery's driveway gate.

The statue reportedly dates back to Japan’s Edo Period (1603–1867) and was believed to have been commissioned for the centerpiece of a temple.

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Gallery owner Fayez Barakat had been in possession of the statue for more than 50 years, per KTLA. Despite the gallery being home to hundreds of valuable artifacts, those pieces were ignored in favor of the Buddha statue, the only item targeted during the heist, which lasted a total of 25 minutes.

“I prize it so much,” Barakat previously told KTLA following initial reports of the statue's theft. “I had it in the backyard of my home and when I moved into this gallery, I put it in the backyard of the gallery for everybody to admire and enjoy.”

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