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Hernando County firefighters replace 89-year-old veteran's stolen statue, help with yard work

The statue was stolen in May from a home
Posted at 9:03 PM, Jun 28, 2019

SPRING HILL, Fla. -- Hernando County firefighters showed up to a veteran's home in Spring Hill to replace a statue that was stolen last month.

Albert Sulfridge, 89, served as a Marine and said the statue of a Marine was a gift from his son.

The theft happened in May and the person has not been caught.

"I couldn’t believe they would do that, I didn’t get mad about it, but I was disappointed," said Albert Sulfridge.

His yard is decorated with symbols of sacrifice and freedom. An American flag flies over his yard and bald eagles decorate the front yard.

A group of Hernando County firefighters heard about the theft and spent weeks coming up with a plan.

"The theft was right before Memorial Day. I grew up around the corner and it just kind of bothered me and I wanted to do something to fix that," said Jonathan Jacobellis, a firefighter.

Ten firefighters showed up to Sulfridge's home on Thursday. They cleaned up his yard.

"We came by yesterday with about 10 guys, did some yard work, pressure washed the driveway, did some weeding, some basic stuff to help him out," said Jacobellis.

They also replaced the stolen statue with a new one. It was custom made and looked similar to the original.

"I don't know what it cost them, but it had to be in the hundreds so I thought the world of them for that. You don't meet people like that anymore," said Sulfridge.

The new statue is about 4 feet tall and 150 pounds. It is painted in Albert's dress blues.

"Bad things are always going to happen. There's always going to be people that do bad things, doesn’t mean we can’t help out and try to right wrongs that go on in our community," said Jacobellis.