Saturday, June 18, 2011

Who Would Steal a Chess Board?

Story at (West Palm Beach, Florida)

Chess Board Thieves Rook Restaurant
Owner Says Children Loved Chess Board
Cathleen O'Toole, Reporter
POSTED: 5:09 pm EDT June 17, 2011
This is the type of giant chessboard stolen from City Cafe.

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- Peter Torocsik still can't believe what was stolen from his City Cafe restaurant right besides West Palm Beach City Hall. It wasn't the cash register or a loaded tip jar. In fact, this disappearance hurts even more.

"The chess board, it was eight by eight and we always kept it outside," said restaurant owner Torocsik, talking about his 8 foot by 8 foot, 80-pound plastic chessboard.

When Torocsik arrived at 4:30 a.m. one day last week, he discovered it stolen.

"So I called the police, not to make a claim. I'm not going to bother anybody. Maybe it appears somewhere," said the Hungarian native. "Let them know it belongs to us."

It isn't the first time a local eatery lost a very large or very loved mascot.

A restuarant in Boca Raton saw its huge Buddha stolen not once, but twice. Some pricey parrots and a cockatoo were swiped from Aleyeda's, a Mexican restaurant in West Palm Beach. Archie's Seabreeze in Fort Pierce saw its 150-pound unnamed pirate walk the plank last year.

There's nothing funny about the situation to Torocsik, who has more than 20 chessboards he lends out to anyone who wants to play. The 64-year-old said the private security company downtown has been asking him to encourage the homeless men who play to do so elsewhere. Torocsik said he refused that request and wonders if that denial has something to do with the theft.

The security company president said there are no leads in the case. As for Torocsik's worries about the homeless request, the company's president, Wilfredo Perez said, "I have no idea what he's talking about."

[Note: According to a video at the website, the pieces were safely locked inside of the restaurant and were not stolen.  The board alone weighs 80 pounds!]

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