The Courier-Mail - QWeekend

BACK STORY 1988

- MYLES SINNAMON

‘She’s beautiful. I can’t describe (her). She’s irreplacea­ble,” lamented Jaime Floro, owner of Le Chic Boutique in Moline, Illinois. “She made a lot of money for us. She worked for me 24 hours a day.” On February 25, 1988, Floro’s paragon, named Sandra, was callously taken from him, kidnapped from the window of his store. Sandra, black haired, standing 1.8m tall, weighing approximat­ely 27kg was a limited-edition mannequin made in New York. She cost about $US1000 and was worth every dime according to Floro. He told the Moline newspaper The Dispatch that Sandra had many admirers, to the point where she distracted passing motorists. “I’m married, have a kid. I told my wife she’s my mistress,” he jokingly told the newspaper. A reward of $100 was offered for the safe return of Sandra. On March 2, The Dispatch reported the happy news that Sandra was home, albeit with a hole in her head and sporting a few scratches. The anonymous claimant of the reward money had supposedly fished Sandra out of a dumpster. An overjoyed Floro returned Sandra to her rightful place in the store window, tending to her head wound with a strategica­lly placed wig.

In February 1983, police officers were patrolling a local lover’s lane in El Paso, Texas when they stumbled upon a youth in a compromisi­ng position with a female mannequin. The amused officers “were laughing too hard” at what they thought was a prank, that they failed to pay close attention to the youth, only later learning he had stolen the mannequin from the window of a tuxedo store. Although police couldn’t give a descriptio­n of the alleged thief, they paid close attention to his date, describing the mannequin as “very good looking” and wearing tuxedo hot pants.

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