, a new cycle business to Tucson, got a rude welcome to the neighborhood. A large metal sculpture the business was going to place outside its warehouse as part decoration, part bike rack was stolen on the first day the business was open here. Courtesy

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Owners of a business new to Tucson learned the hard way that one man’s art may be another’s scrap metal.

Josh Lipton, president of Bike Shop Hub, relocated his online business from Flagstaff to Tucson a couple of weeks ago. No sooner had he and staffers unloaded a thousand-pound custom metal sculpture bike rack than someone — likely several someone’s — helped themselves to it.

The distinctive metal sculpture valued at $8,500, took eight people to unload April 15. They left the sculpture outside the warehouse on North Flowing Wells Road for three hours while they finished moving into their new 4,000-square-foot space. They planned to lock up the bike rack before leaving for the night, Lipton said. Sometime between 5 and 5:45 p.m., the rack disappeared.

Lipton filed a police report, but speculated that if he ever saw the rack again, it likely would be in pieces, chopped up and sold for scrap. Earlier on the day the rack was stolen, Lipton said he found several men digging through the warehouse Dumpster looking for scrap metal.

“It would be hard for someone to think it was junk,” Lipton said of the utilitarian sculpture that is made up of large, stylized bicycle parts — tire rim, spokes, sprocket, chain, gears.

Read the rest of this story in Thursday's Star.