“We missed the anniversary, but 40 years ago last month on East State Boulevard near Coliseum Boulevard, a guy named Dick Freeland opened the first Pizza Hut in Fort Wayne,” according to the Journal Gazette.
“A few years later the restaurant was remodeled, but someone commemorated that first location by producing a carved illustration of the original building, complete with a character called Pizza Pete, a company mascot that has long since fallen out of use.
The business hung the little piece of artwork, about 12 inches by 18 inches, on the wall near the front door of the restaurant, where it remained for a quarter of a century, more or less.
Customers got used to seeing the piece of work.
Then, about 10:45 p.m. one Monday night a few weeks ago, a little bit before closing time, when business was slow and waitresses and cooks were cleaning up, someone pulled the artwork off the wall.
The framed piece of art was just fastened into the stucco with small screws. Those small screws apparently made it easy to yank the piece right off the wall, but then again it never occurred to anyone that someone would try to steal it.”