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Gigantic chair disappears from Weeki Wachee store

Bare-Lee Used's manager is baffled: "How do you hide an 11-foot-tall chair?"

By Times Staff Writer
Published February 7, 2007


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WEEKI WACHEE - It would be tempting to look for Paul Bunyan-sized boots or ox tracks, but it probably wasn't an oversized lumberjack who made off with the signature piece at Bare-Lee Used Furniture.

The 11-foot-tall, 6-foot-wide deck chair - a novelty item priced at $2,000 - was stolen from the front of the store, 9017 Commercial Way, sometime late Friday or early Saturday.

"They had to have used a flatbed," said manager Noelle Williston, daughter of owner Lee Williston. "That chair weighed 400 pounds."

Noelle Williston's cousin built the huge seat, and the family had it parked outside for about five months. It had become a landmark of sorts and a source of pride for the family-run business.

"It was great for finding us," she said. "We just told people, 'Look for the big chair.' "

The chair was such a part of the landscape that no one noticed it missing when the store opened Saturday.

"A customer said something," Noelle Williston said. "I called my dad and asked him if he had sold it. When he said no, we realized what had happened and called the police."

The crime left her baffled.

"How do you hide an 11-foot-tall chair?"

Hernando sheriff's deputies told her Tuesday that they had no leads, but she and her dad hold out hope that the chair will turn up.

"We were the little store with the big chair," she said. "It's kind of depressing."

[Last modified February 6, 2007, 21:54:24]


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