July 19, 2009

Eatery owner: Bad karma for Buddha thief

The owner of a restaurant in Boca Raton, Fla., says whoever stole his Buddha bust is in for some bad karma.

Saba restaurant owner Zack Gardner, a native of Vietnam, said his eatery's 150-pound, 4-foot-tall Buddha head has not been seen since last weekend and its whereabouts remains a mystery, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported Friday.

I've never heard of someone stealing a Buddha, said Gardner, who is a Buddhist. In my culture stealing a Buddha will bring bad luck. I hope they know that.

Boca Raton police spokeswoman Sandra Boonenberg said youths likely stole the concrete statue last Sunday as part of a practical joke.

Gardner told the Sun-Sentinel said he had not given up hope those who took the statue will restore their karmic balance by returning it.

It brought an air of serenity, he said of the missing sculpture.