'Cinderella Carriage' recovered in NJ

April 21, 2009 12:41:50 PM PDT
A missing Cinderella pumpkin carriage that disappeared Monday was recovered and returned Tuesday. A well-known part of the Belleville-Nutley Columbus Day Parade, the float's theft had baffled organizers as to how and why someone would take it.

The 1,000-pound float - which features a golden carriage and four pink ponies - was parked at a Belleville construction company owned by Michael Perrone, an organizer parade.

Perrone - who discovered the theft Saturday morning - said it takes six men to lift the float, which stands 7 feet tall, 8 feet long and 4 feet across. The $2,000 carriage carries two girls who are declared princesses for the parade day.

The carriage was apparently found in Bloomfield, where an unsuspecting man reportedly bought it from two men in a K-Mart parking lot for $45.

The sellers were described as Hispanic and driving a black pickup truck. Police say they may have a lead regarding the two men, who may be regularly seen around town looking for scrap.

The buyer, who thought the float would be a nice playhouse for his niece, reportedly called police after a relative recognized the float from the news.

The float was released to Perrone, who said his two young nieces will be the princesses in this year's parade.

"They were like, 'Who would take a Cinderella carriage?"' Perrone told The Star-Ledger of Newark. "I said, who else but two evil stepsisters?"


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