A man has been caught on CCTV stealing The Light of Hope landmark in Dorset, before he and a friend are spotted running down the street with it.
The culprit broke off the illuminated plastic globe from the statue in Bournemouth Square.
He was later spotted on camera with a friend running down Bourne Avenue with the dislodged globe on 15 October.
The damage to the landmark, which is maintained by the Bournemouth YMCA, will cost more than £1,000 to repair.
The Light of Hope, formerly known as the Eternal Flame, was given to the people of Bournemouth by the churches of the town.
Blair Crawford, executive director of Bournemouth YMCA, said: "It is a popular landmark, as well as a meeting place for local people, and this damage is very disappointing.
"At a time when we are all being urged to make savings, expensive damage such as this comes as quite a blow.
"It's possible that the two men are not aware of the huge cost of their actions, but I'd ask them to do the right thing and return the plastic globe."
Sgt Dave Hambleton said: "This footage clearly shows that a number of young women were talking with these two men prior to the incident - as well as taking photographs.
"I would urge the men pictured, as well as the women, to come forward and speak with the police."
The plastic globe is yet to be recovered.