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Larchmont Residents Stunned by Bench Thief

LARCHMONT, N.Y. -- On his way into work at Espana Thursday, James Scagnelli saw a hand-written note by T.J. Smith hanging on the neighboring Golden Shoestring's window asking, "Have you seen my sister's bench?"

Like several others working on Larchmont Avenue, Scagnelli was asked that same question by Larchmont Police investigating the theft of the bench, dedicated to the memory of Delaney Smith, who died suddenly in 2009 at just two months of age.

"What a shame," said Scagnelli, a Mamaroneck resident who was disappointed that the surveillance cameras at the restaurant at 147 Larchmont Avenue didn't pick anything up.

Last October, the Junior League of Westchester on the Sound held a dedication ceremony for the Smith family. Delaney's mom Tiffany was devastated when she found out it was stolen.

"To have the bench taken away is just awful," Tiffany Smith said. "I am beyond forgiving and we just want the bench back."

While filing the police report, a Larchmont detective told her the bench was likely stolen sometime between early Sunday morning and Monday morning, she said.

"It's hard to believe that someone would steal something that means so much," said Amy Sullivan, a friend of Tiffany's. "I really hope that the person didn't realize the significance of the bench and once they hear what it means to the Smith family, they will return it right away."

Tiffany Smith, who walked the runway Thursday night at the Junior League's second annual fashion show "Shop.Local Fall Fashion Show," isn't concerned with money or punishing those responsible. She just wants the bench back.

"It's probably just stupid kids who have no idea," said Susan King, a resident who was horrified by the theft. "I bet if they knew, they'd feel horrible and if their parents knew, they'd be grounded for life."

Jenn Reck was shocked when she heard about what happened while passing the Golden Shoestring, where the bench sat. She said they should replace it.

"Someone said to me, 'We can replace the bench,'" Smith said. "To me, it's kind of like her, it's irreplaceable. No one will ever replace Delaney."

Have you seen Delaney's bench? Comment below.

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