The theft of two statues from Altona Pier has shocked the local community.
They were part of a set of five bronze statues by sculptor Pauline Fraser depicting marine creatures that are part of the Hobsons Bay Coastal Trail.
Titled Seaborn, the artwork, commissioned by Hobsons Bay council, was installed at the corner of the Esplanade and Pier Street in 2005.
The set comprised a cuttlefish, weedy sea dragon, leatherjacket, crab and shell.
Thieves have cut the crab and weedy sea dragon from their steel plinths.
Hobsons Bay mayor Angela Altair labelled the vandalism and theft as “senseless” and said many people in the community would be upset.
“I often see children, in particular, engaging with the sculptures, curious as to what the sea creatures are, learning of their existence in our bay and admiring them,” she said.
“It’s just really sad and I feel disappointed, along with the majority of local people, who do the right thing and realise these attacks are a drain on the public purse.”
Altona Village Traders Association president Kim Walsh described the theft as “disgusting”.
“Altona people have taken ownership of them and are very proud of them,” he said.
“They were the best thing council had done in many many years.
“If they’re in someone’s backyard, let’s hope that their neighbours or their friends say, ‘This is not on, these belong to the people of Altona’.”
Locals residents noticed the statues missing on Sunday.
The theft of the crab and weedy seed dragon has been reported to Altona North police.
The council is in discussions with the artist about replacing the works, the cost of which is not yet known.
In March, a bronze statue was stolen from a Laverton park.
Dean Bowen’s 1.2 metre-high statue – titled Walking Figure and part of a set of three called Linking Laverton – was cut off at its feet from the stone base at the Thomas Street entry to McCormack Park.
Police say the heavy statue would have required tools and a trailer or ute to remove.
Anyone with information can call Altona North police station on 9392 3111 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.