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Stolen “Dennis the Menace” statue coming back to Monterey!

San Giovanni, Monterey, California

The three-and-a-half foot, 200-pound statue of Dennis the Menace, which disappeared the night of Oct. 25, 2006, from the Dennis the Menace Playground in Monterey, turned up in FLORIDA! Frighteningly, the bronze statue was found at Brothers Scrap Metals in Orlando, according to officials from the city of Monterey. SFGate.com says:

The statue arrived at the scrap metal company Aug. 22 and was among various metal objects scheduled to be melted down, city officials said in a statement. But the daughter-in-law of the scrapyard’s owner recognized the cartoon figure and learned the statue was stolen after doing an Internet search.

Monterey police and city officials have been searching for the statue ever since it went missing, and even offered a $5,000 reward for its return. The statue was valued at $25,000 to $30,000. City officials said Friday they would make good on that reward.

Cartoonist Hank Ketcham, who created the freckle-faced character that first appeared in newspapers in 1951, commissioned the statue and had it installed in 1988 in the Monterey playground designed by himself and sculptor Arch Garner. The playground opened in 1956.

Ketcham died in 2001 at his home in Carmel at age 81.

Brothers Scrap Metal, the Florida sheriff’s organization, and the Monterey Police Department are working together to bring the statue back to Monterey. The park in Monterey (Google Maps) has not been without a Dennis all of these years, however. Five months after the original statue disappeared, the city re-cast the statue from the mold of the original and placed it at the same site in the park. When the original comes back, it will take its rightful place, and the replacement will be moved.

Meanwhile, the city of Monterey is holding a photo contest and asking people to download a photo of the statue and place him in family vacation photos and other shots with the hashtag #WhereWasDennis. Favorites will be posted on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

-Bill at

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