Mike Haydel is beside himself.
He is offering a $1,000 reward for the return of two rare brass chandeliers stolen from his business, The Vintage Store on Pass Road.
A thief or thieves broke in overnight Wednesday. They also took a used stainless-steel Rolex, a Remington bronze cast in the 1960s and other items.
But Haydel is most upset about the large light fixtures.
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“They're irreplaceable,” he said. “They're one of a kind. They’re monumental. They’re magnificent.”
The fixtures would have been created in the late 1800s, he said, and were given to him by a dear friend. They are oil fixtures converted for electricity.
He had them rewired, polished and restored for a bar and grill his brother plans to open next year in downtown Gulfport. He’s been collecting antiques and old signs to create the look of a New Orleans neighborhood bar in the building at 27th Avenue and 14th Street.
He doesn’t know why the thief stole two of the light fixtures and left behind a third. The third fixture was stored in a separate room.
He called the Sun Herald, hoping readers will report it if they come across the stolen fixtures, or see someone trying to sell them.
Sadly, he thinks the thief or thieves took metal items they thought could be sold for scrap. They also took some cast iron skillets.
He said someone broke in by prying open a roll-up door in back. They also pried open the door to his locked office. Haydel discovered the theft when he arrived at work Thursday morning.
“I knew something was terribly wrong,” he said. “I called the police immediately.”