Cindy Pollard recalled there being some controversy when the soldier was installed five or six years ago"some didn't take to his fierce expression and bayonet. She doubts the theft originated in the community, though.
"I have a feeling that it went with people that went with the carnival," she said.
The incident occurred in the closing days of the Altamont Fair, which draws tens of thousands of visitors over the course of the week. Altamont police said members of the fair had been interviewed as part of the investigation.
Though patrols are normally stepped up during the fair, late at night the patrol schedule for the village varies. Police hope someone who was out and about that night may have seen the statue being removed and could provide information.
Pollard said even with all the rare items in and around the restaurant, theft and vandalism are hardly a concern. She could recall only one other instance of theft, when a purple heart was swiped from a display case. Such problems won't stop her from displaying items that have been collected or donated, she said.
"I can't destroy what I've tried to create just because somebody wants to take it," she said. "We're just lucky they couldn't move the tank."
Anyone with information is asked to contact Altamont police at 861-5480.""