January 29, 2009

Mechanical gorilla stolen

A Tampa, Fla., store owner said one of his two motorized gorillas that wave to passing cars has been stolen from in front of the store.

David Epstein, owner of State Vacuum, said security cameras recorded two women, who appeared to be between the ages of 18 and 25, loading the gorilla into a hatchback and driving away Wednesday, the St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times reported Thursday.

Epstein said the gorilla was one of two owned by the store that wave to passing motorists. He said the store obtained its first motorized gorillas more than 30 years ago when Epstein's father bought them at a Las Vegas novelty shop. Epstein said the store replaces the gorillas every eight to 10 years.

He said the gorilla was wearing an Arizona Cardinals shirt at the time of the theft.