Smithtown Rotary monument missing

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A granite monument honoring Smithtown's Rotary Club remained missing Monday, four days after it was apparently removed from a park.

Rotary Club of Smithtown member Vito Poveromo, 85, said he called 4th Precinct police on Thursday when he found it had disappeared.

"I'm devastated," said Poveromo, who said he had donated the $5,000 object anonymously.

Suffolk police didn't have additional information on the incident and couldn't comment.

The monument had stood for the past five years at Rotary Park on Main Street in Smithtown hamlet's main business district. It was not clear when the monument was taken or how it was removed.

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Poveromo, a retired heavy construction contractor, said it had been fastened to the ground with a mortar joint. He could not estimate its size, but said it was very heavy.

The monument bears the spoked-wheel logo of Rotary International. An inscription said it was installed in honor of the Smithtown Rotary's "50 years of service to the community and to the world."

Rotary president Glenn Williams said he was stunned by the theft.

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"I would think it would be something that would be difficult to cart away," he said. "It's very disturbing, and hopefully it's just a case of some misguided kids and it'll turn up somewhere."

Poveromo said the monument was especially meaningful to him because of Rotary's efforts to fight worldwide poverty and diseases such as polio. "I'm 55 years in the Rotary," he said. "I haven't missed a meeting."

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