Sculpture Stolen from East Capitol Garden

Police Seek Leads to Locate George Rickey's 'Double Ls' (1982)

George Rickey's 1982 'Double Ls,' placed in the garden at 822 East Capitol St. NE in 1995, was stolen the first week of December. Police are seeking leads. Image: Courtesy Dr. Gary Mintz

A very large and important sculpture was stolen from the garden of an East Capitol Home in early December, and police are looking for information or film from the area to help them solve the theft.

The sculpture, a 68-inch stainless steel kinetic work called ‘Double Ls’ was created by artist George Rickey in 1982. It was purchased by Dr. Gary Mintz in 1991. In 1995, the sculpture was placed in the garden of his home at Ninth and East Capitol Streets, the former City Bank building (822 East Capitol St. NE).

The sculpture has been noted in many articles and books together with the naturalistic garden in which it was placed, designed by Oehme, Van Sweden (OvS) Landscape Architects to accommodate Dr. Mintz’s collection.

The sculpture, which appeared to be animated when the breeze rotated it on precision bearings, was firmly anchored in place, Mintz said in a 2014 Washington Post article on Washington yard art.

“You want to make sure the art is not portable, so someone can’t walk off with it,” Mintz said in the piece.

The sculpture was noted by many pedestrians, many of whom thought it might be motorized, as it moved on precision bearings with the wind. It is also clearly visible in the Google Maps Street View. Image: Screenshot: Google Maps

But the week of December 3, while Mintz was out of the country, someone did just that.

Police are looking for video from the area or any information that could help them recover the work.

The sculpture is large and silver in color. True to its title, the work appears to be two metal capital letter ‘L’s, each formed with less than a right angle. One is inverted over the other to form a shape that looks similar to the icon representing the cropping feature in photo apps.

The sculpture is more than five-and-a-half feet tall and, taken out of context, may have appeared to a witness to be industrial or construction material.

Anyone who has knowledge of this incident or has video or photographs from the area that might be useful is asked to please call police at (202) 727-9099. You can also text tips, including photographs and video, to the Department’s Text Tip Line at 50411.

Crime Solvers of Washington DC currently offers a reward of up to $1,000 to anyone who provides information that leads to the arrest and indictment of the person or persons responsible for a crime committed in the District of Columbia.