Dennis the Menace Statue

The statue, still wrapped, after it arrived in Monterey.

Dennis has returned to Monterey, but he might not be the right one.

The famous statue was stolen from the namesake Dennis The Menace park in Monterey in 2006 and found in Florida a few weeks ago and, as it turns out, there might be a second statue that was also missing. The three-and-a-half foot statute arrived wrapped in plastic via Fedex freight today from Brothers Scrap Metal in Orlando Florida where it was found.

“My goal is to determine if he is our Dennis or not,” says Monterey Police Lt. Jeff Jackson. “The people who helped build him haven’t examined him yet.”

In 1988, Hank Ketchum, the cartoonist who created Dennis the Menace, commissioned Academy Award-winning animator Wah Ming Chang to create the statue, which welcomed people into the park.

“We’re looking for a specific mark made by the artist to see if it was our Dennis,” says Monterey City Community Services Director Kim Bui-Burton. “At this point, we’re focused on whether we can identify it.”

Jackson says if the statue isn’t the correct one, it will either be returned to Florida or kept anyways. He hopes to have an answer by the end of the week.

“We might not to be able to ever confirm,” he says, adding a joke. “We can't take a DNA test, but we can take fingerprints.”


Staff photojournalist at Monterey County Weekly.

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