Statue of baseball icon Jackie Robinson stolen from Kansas park

Photo of the statue's base after it was stolen, with only the shoes remaining
The statue was housed at McAdams Park in Wichita, Kansas. This is all that's left
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A statue of iconic American baseball player Jackie Robinson was stolen from a park in Kansas, police said.

The bronze statue, which stood at a park in Wichita, was cut at the ankles and hauled off in a truck.

"Our community is devastated," said Wichita Police in a statement on the theft, which happened overnight on Thursday.

Police have offered a cash reward for any tip on the statue's whereabouts.

Wichita police chief Joe Sullivan said at a news conference on Friday that he was "frustrated by the actions of those individuals who had the audacity to take the statute" from a park that children and families frequent.

"This should upset all of us," Mr Sullivan said.

The statue was in McAdams Park, home to League 42, a youth baseball league named after Robinson's jersey number.

The park is also known for recognising influential African Americans. It is named after a former black city official, and its community center was renamed in recent years after the city's first elected black mayor.

Robinson, who played for the Brooklyn Dodgers, made history as the first black player in Major League Baseball, paving the way for generations of African American ball players.

"No matter the motivation of those who were involved, they were not only stealing from the community, they're also stealing from the legacy of work that has been put in by the members of League 42," said Brandon Johnson, a member of the Wichita city council.

"More importantly, they're stealing from the kids."

Officials are offering a $2,500 (£1,970) for any tip that leads to an arrest, and an additional $5,000 to anyone with information on where the statue might be.

The value of the stolen statue is more than $75,000, city officials said, but they added the value of what was lost is much bigger.

"The value is much more than that. It's Jackie Robinson. And I'll just leave it at that," said Troy Houtman, Wichita's parks and recreation director.