Slim’s giraffe statue stolen

An elephant trudged up Gulf Drive March 13. People noticed.

A camel followed. People noticed the animal, an attraction in the annual Beach Bistro St. Patrick’s Parade on the Island.

What the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office wants to know is whether anyone noticed a giraffe later March 13, or March 14.

The giraffe, an 8-foot-tall paper machete statue, was stolen from Slim’s Place, 9701 Gulf Drive, Anna Maria. The statue, valued at about $3,000, had been stationed about a foot inside the southside door at the popular Island restaurant.

The MCSO classified the incident as a grand theft from a building, a third-degree felony punishable by up to five years in prison.

Slim’s giraffe is not the first oversized statue to be swiped in Anna Maria during a St. Patrick’s-spring break week. Four years ago, on or around St. Patrick’s Day, a larger-than-life statue of a butler was stolen from outside Sandy Rich’s coffee and real estate office on Gulf Drive.

Bentley Bunsmore the Butler was found at a Bradenton garage sale and returned to Rich 11 months after she reported what she termed a kidnapping and the MCSO classified as a theft.

Bentley was taken from outside the real estate office, and the kidnappers never identified.

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