All the way back in 1956, Hank Ketcham, the creator of Dennis the Menace, helped establish a playground in Monterey, California, that riffed on the mischievous personality of his most famous creation. In the 1980s, Ketcham helped add another feature to the park: a 3.5-foot-tall, 200-pound statue of Dennis himself. Dennis, the statue, hung out in the park for many years, until, in 2006, somebody stole him.
This week, though, Dennis turned up. Somehow, he had made it all the way across the country, to a Florida scrap yard (which happened to be owned by a man named Dennis). Monterey rejoiced: the statue would return to its rightful home.
But this might not be an open and shut kidnapping case. It turns out that Monterey’s Dennis statue was one of four cast across the country. And another Dennis owner, the Arnold Palmer Children’s Hospital, also had their statute stolen.
The hospital has a strong case for this Dennis being its Dennis. Like the scrapyard, the hospital is located in Florida, and it’s easier to believe a statue stolen in Florida would be found in Florida. But right now, Dennis is headed toward Monterey. “We are going on the assumption that it’s our Dennis,” Monterey spokesperson Anne McGrath told KSBW News.
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