76ºF

Stolen 'Dennis the Menace' statue found in Central Florida

Statue turns up in Orlando scrap yard after vanishing 9 years ago

photo

ORLANDO, Fla. – America grew up on the show and the comics: "Dennis the Menace" was a household name etched in history and later forged in bronze. The statue once sat in a park in Monterey, California. It vanished nine years ago.

Two weeks ago, the statue turned up in an Orlando scrap yard.

"For being thrown around for nine years, it's almost blemish free," said Brothers Scrap Metals owner Michael Leigh.

The beloved little boy almost became scrap metal in China, but a Google search revealed this statue's true value to be worth nearly $30,000.

To people in California, it's priceless.

"I found their kid. I'm more excited about than anything. Honest to God, I thought that was unbelievable," Leigh said. "I think the guy probably bought it at a flea market or something. Who knows?"

Police now have details about who dropped off the statue that is 3 feet tall and weighs 200 pounds.

It's a mystery how Dennis traveled from California to Florida and who lugged him around. But next week, he's heading home after a long vacation.

The city of Monterey plans to give the scrap metal dealer a $5,000 reward. Monterey has started a photo contest called #WhereWasDennis, where you take a picture of the statue and Photoshop into a family photo at Disney or have him visit Mount Rushmore.