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A thief whose aspirations are a touch less extravagant than Veruca Salt's struck a St. Paul park over the weekend.

A bronze goose statue was taken from the fountain at Cochran Park over the weekend, the St. Pau Police Department said. It's one of four geese that make up the 1926 piece, called Indian hunter and his Dog. The waterfowl surround a man and his dog, with each bird spitting water into the air.

Fortunately, the missing goose's absence wasn't for long.

On Monday afternoon, the police department said the bronze goose has been recovered, after an attentive scrap metal worker foiled the thief's plans.

"An employee at a metal recycling center called to say someone came in with the statue," the department said, "which was recovered and returned to a Parks Department employee."

Authorities have not arrested anyone, however, the case is still open.

The fountain has a history of being targeted.

As the city explains, the Paul Manship work was originally installed at Cochran Park 95 years ago. But after a spate of vandalism, they chose to replicate the sculpture and relocate it to Como Park.

That didn't solve the issue.

The vandalism continued at the replicated sculpture's new locale, so in 1996, the city opted to renovate the original sculpture and reinstall it at Cochran Park. 

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