Florida Keys

Key West hotel wants its stolen misfit toy returned

Yukon Cornelius was part of the La Te Da hotel and restaurant’s outdoor holiday display that pays tribute to the Island of Misfit Toys, from the classic holiday stop-action TV special ‘Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.’
Yukon Cornelius was part of the La Te Da hotel and restaurant’s outdoor holiday display that pays tribute to the Island of Misfit Toys, from the classic holiday stop-action TV special ‘Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.’

In Key West, which many locals call the island of Misfit Toys as a nod to the classic Christmas television special about a red-nosed reindeer, this theft hit close to home.

Someone swiped a statue of Yukon Cornelius from the La Te Da, a hotel and restaurant at 1125 Duval St. between late Dec. 16 and Dec. 17, police said.

Cornelius, the arctic prospector from the 1964 stop-motion animation special “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” in this case is a handmade statue valued at $600, which makes the crime a felony grand theft.

Cornelius was hauled off by a drunken man captured on security video tucking the five-foot-tall statue under his arms and then stumbling south on Duval Street. The video footage, police said, isn’t clear enough to get a solid description of the thief.

“The suspect is described as a white male with dark hair in a white T-shirt,” Officer Derek Wallis wrote in his report.

La Te Da owner Christopher Rounds said the man in the video is “apparently intoxicated,” and is seen at first trying to steal Rudolph but then choosing Cornelius as his target.

“A lot of love went into creating the ‘No Toy is a Misfit’ Christmas display,” Rounds posted on Facebook on Sunday. “The message everyone at La Te Da wanted to send with this display was caring, generosity and acceptance.”

The statue is of a bearded man wearing a red beanie, green hoodie and skates, with a blue backpack and a belt with tools, the police report states.

Gwen Filosa: @KeyWestGwen

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