BENTONVILLE (KFSM) -- A piece of Bentonville history that dates back to the early 1900s is missing from the Bentonville square.
There were four cannonballs at the feet of the confederate statue on the Bentonville square, but now there are just three.
Bentonville police said a thief trudged through the fountain waters, taking off with the nearly 30-pound cannonball.
They said it happened sometime Tuesday (Sept.5).
“I mean it's theft, it's vandalism of public property, so it's wrong,” one Bentonville resident said.
Police said this isn't the first time one of the cannonballs have gone missing.
If you look close in this video from earlier this summer, the cannonball on the left is smaller than all the others suggesting it was replaced after being stolen.
Rick Dodson said he's grown up seeing the statue every time he came to the square.
“I came up here for first Friday, the first time I'd been here this year and I thought about all these people and all this stuff about the statue and everything and said no wonder those cannonballs are still there,” he said.
And this morning he heard history repeat itself.
“They don't have a right to do that no matter how you feel about it one way or another. You know it is public property and you don't have any right to destroy it,” he said.
The confederate statue has been the center of controversy. Last month, dueling petitions began circulating whether the statue should stay on the square or go.
So, whether this cannonball thief was politically motivated or just in for a prank isn't clear.
“It probably wasn't the right call. I think there are better ways to solve your problems or your issues you are having but I mean it's gone so,” one Bentonville resident said.
A local chapter of the united daughters of the confederacy placed the statue here in 1905. The City of Bentonville has been maintaining the square including the statue since 1996.
If you have information about this crime, please call Northwest Arkansas Crimestoppers at 790-TIPS.