Thieves Strike New Angelo's

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The scrap metal for the brackets may be worth a few hundred dollars. Replacing them could cost $12,000 and a lot of heartache to an owner who's already watched a hurricane wash the place away.

Angelo's Restaurant was demolished by Hurricane Dennis a year ago, but mother nature had nothing to do with the latest setback.

Deputies say thieves are to blame after 14 brackets went missing on Friday. The construction crew wants to move ahead full force, but it can't.

Johnny Strickland, Angelo's building project foreman, said, "Not right now. We're stopped. We can do a few interior walls and that was it until we get those brackets back."

From design to installation, the brackets cost around $850 and they're not here for beauty, they're key braces for the load bearing walls of the new Angelo's.

Johnny Strickland added, "Yeah, it kind of bogged us down Friday when we found out they were missing ‘cause that's where we were going. That was our next step. These brackets and beams. This kind of put a stop to that."

Construction workers are scratching their heads as to why someone would want the brackets.

They're specially designed for this building, and they're heavy. Fourteen of them together weigh 784 pounds. If they're not being used for construction, investigators say the brackets would serve only one purpose.

CAPT Jim Griner of the Wakulla County Sheriff's Office said, "We figure it's the stainless steel brackets themselves. I mean, that stainless steel could be valuable if you try to sell it. We're going to need the public's help on this one."

If they're not recovered, new brackets could cost an additional $12,000.

It's just another setback for the owner who had hoped Angelo's would be rebuilt by now. The Sheriff's Office announces a $2,000 reward to anyone with information. Call 850-926-0800.