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Owners seek return of sentimental photo frame stolen from Vinos Wine Bar on Las Olas – WSVN 7News | Miami News, Weather, Sports | Fort Lauderdale


FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WSVN) – The owners of Vinos Wine Bar on Las Olas are on a quest for answers after a bold act of photo theft was captured on video.

The incident unfolded Friday evening at the bar’s Sidecar Speakeasy, just moments before midnight.

“Every bartender, restaurant owner in America has this problem of people stealing stuff,” said co-owner Clayton Chelley.

Seated at a corner table and after sharing a few glasses of wine with her friends, a woman nonchalantly helped herself to a photo on the wall.

“It’s like walking into your house and taking a picture off the wall,” said Clayton. “I’m disturbed by this. I mean, I lose sleep over this.”

“I feel more disappointed,” said co-owner Valerie Chelley. “You kind of expect the best from people.”

The whole scene was caught on camera, detailing her maneuver to secure the frame in her purse. Her friends played their part too, slyly shielding the bartender’s view as they left.

“Just the smugness of it. She almost got one over the bar,” said Clayton.

“There were three people in that party and all of them thought that that was OK,” said co-owner David Bell. “Frankly, it’s not.”

The stolen photo frame was no ordinary decoration. It held cherished memories as an heirloom passed down from the owner’s grandmother.

“The frame is an antique handed down from my wife’s grandmother,” said Clayton. “So that can’t be brought back if we can’t find these people.”

“I have no idea where she got it from,” said Valerie.

“The picture in it was a funny picture of a Boston Terrier smoking a pipe,” said Clayton. “Which the dog looks almost exactly like our dog.”

Reacting to the incident, the bar owners took an unconventional step by sharing the surveillance footage on social media.

“I actually thought about not doing it,” said Clayton. “I didn’t want to be petty or something like that but then I’m stewing it over in my mind and I go ‘No, these people need to realize they did wrong.”

Their hope is that the woman will recognize her misstep and take measures to make amends.

“I hope it’s 12 degrees of Kevin Bacon. That someone is gonna recognize her. Someone is gonna say ‘I recognize her’ and that hopefully she might see it and feel a little ashamed,” said Clayton.

The bar owners are also working on tracking down the credit card receipt for when the group payed for their tab if the woman doesn’t return the portrait. They are also working with Fort Lauderdale Police.

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