Theft at Lake Martin's Kowaliga Restaurant


By Ashley Thompson

The historic Kowaliga Restaurant on Lake Martin was the scene of a theft this weekend, after someone stole something of great value from the eatery.

The statue, nicknamed Kowaliga, has been at the restaurant for just a few months but someone stole a precious piece of this artwork.

"I didn't understand," says Vice President of Russell Lands, Roger Holliday. "I was like why would somebody do that?"

Holliday says he was shocked that someone would take the tomahawk, also called a war-hammer, from the massive Indian statue.

"The thought of somebody taking it, I don't want to say it didn't cross our minds but we didn't think anybody would do it."

But that's exactly what happened. In surveillance video given to Alabama News Network, a man in a baseball cap and hood walks around the lobby of the resturant before lifting up the back of his sweatshirt and stealing the war-hammer.

"One thing we noticed in the video, it was very methodical and obviously thought out," says Russell Lands Chief of Police, Mack Daugherty.

Daugherty says the perpatrator was arrested Monday night and confessed but gave no explanation as to why he stole the war-hammer.

"He eluded it to being a prank but no definte reason," he says. .

Although there may be no reason, those with the restaurant say they're relieved the war-hammer is back, to complete the statue.

"Everybody that comes in here, certainly the first time they're in here, they've got to have thier picture made with Kowaliga," Holliday explains.

The war hammer is now back in Kowaliga's hand. We're told it will now be more secured.


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PJB said on Wednesday, Jul 10 at 5:46 PM

I am so glad that the war hammer is back where it belongs. Corey does beautiful wood carvings and is a very talented young man. I personally have one of his carvings and so does my husband. Great work and a big "Thank You" to the Russell Lands Police Department!

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