A local artist has been left reeling after tens of thousands of rands worth of his artwork was stolen from the side of the road. Anyway Stephen (34) who sculpts life-size animals using scrap steel, said he left 12 of his artworks near the Cedara off-ramp on the N3 highway on Monday evening and returned on Tuesday morning to find them missing. Stephen, who has been an artist for about 10 years, said he charges about R9 000 for each piece, and had taken the 12 pieces to the side of the road for them to be picked up and taken to a buyer in Cape Town. “It was about 7 pm and we left because the guy who needed to ship them wasn’t coming,” he said. Stephen said he did not think the items would be stolen because of how heavy they are. “I didn’t think anyone would be able to pick them up.” The pieces included sculptures of lions, horses, kudu and eland. He said it takes about five days to sculpt one animal. He had not been paid for the 12 sculptures he was going to ship off, but said he may need to build new ones.Welded statues have been stolen. “I also have a person who helps me and I don’t know how I’m going to pay him,” Stephen said.He said family members spent Tuesday asking nearby businesses to view their security footage to find out what happened. Anyone with information can call Stephen on 078 966 2842.