A joint venture by Sussex and Kent Police has brought a statue back to its owners in Handcross, one year after it was stolen.
The statue of a shepherd boy was stolen from Nymans gardens in Handcross on September 1, 2016.
It was discovered in a barn near Swanley, Kent, on Monday, December 11, said police.
Steven Sibley, 24, of New England Road, Haywards Heath, pleaded guilty to theft offences, including theft by finding at Crawley Magistrates’ court on November 2, 2016.
He was given a rehabilitation activity requirement and required to pay £3,692 in compensation, said police.
A Sussex Police spokesman said: “Kent Police received a phone call from a member of the public after discovering the 4in statue in the rented barn.
“The statue was returned to Nymans on Friday, December 15, and is being kept in a secure storage pending conservation work.”
Police Constable Ben Gould of Investigations said: “This is a fantastic result in being able to reunite the statue with the rightful owners.
“Kent Police were quick to respond to the call and from the press release we issued at the time of the theft, were able to match the description to the statue itself.”
James Holloway House Steward from Nymans added: “We are thrilled to be reunited with our statue. It is amazing to have it returned to us well over a year after it was stolen, we didn’t believe there was any possibility of it being found.
“We would like to thank the Kent and Sussex Police forces for all of their hard work in returning it to us.”