NEWPORT BEACH (CBS) — A bronze statue of former President Ronald Reagan was vandalized early Sunday, according to officials.

READ MORE: No Apology From Department After 5-Year-Old Boy Bitten By South Pasadena Police K9 Tuesday At National Night Out Event

Police received a call at approximately 5:30 Sunday morning about a possible vandalism in progress at the Bonita Canyon Sports Park.

A witness saw a suspect tie something around the top of the statue and the other end to the front of his vehicle. The witness said the suspect then got into his vehicle and put it in reverse in an attempt to pull the statue down.

The suspect, described as a male in dark clothing, fled the scene before officers arrived.

READ MORE: Street Racing Likely To Blame For Deadly Burbank Wreck That Killed 3 Bystanders

Police said the vehicle was a tan pickup with an extended cab, circa early 2000s.

It’s not known if the suspect was trying to simply cause damage to the statue or steal it, but officials believe the vandal may be a thief who hoped to take off with the statue and sell it as scrap.

City workers were called to assess the damage to the statue and decide it had to be removed because it was compromised.

There is no word from officials on when the statue can be replaced and put back on its pedestal.

MORE NEWS: LAPD Announces Arrest Of Man Who Placed Molotov Cocktails On MTA Platform

The statue debuted last month during a dedication memorial to celebrate the former president’s 100th birthday. It is reportedly worth $60,000.