4 of Bradenton's GeckoFest geckos reported stolen

BRADENTON — Four geckos from the city’s GeckoFest were reported stolen on Monday.

Janye Kocher, chairwoman of the biennial festival, believes the geckos disappeared last Thursday from an undisclosed downtown storage area. Thought to be misplaced, the GeckoFest staff spent the weekend searching for them, but none of them turned up. A report was filed with the Bradenton Police Department on Monday. The geckos, which are six-feet in length, are valued at $1,500 a piece.

Missing are the Geico gecko, a gecko that has piano keys on its back, another with claws and one that is black and white.

“It’s disheartening when you try to do something good, and then this happens,” she said.

Sixty-one geckos were created for GeckoFest and were hung on buildings throughout downtown Bradenton for the past four months. They were recently taken down, stored and were taken out to be displayed at last Friday’s GeckoFest preview party in Rossi Park. Those that haven’t yet sold will be auctioned off at the GeckoFest Gala Dinner on May 1. Proceeds will benefit local arts organizations and arts education.

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