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Thieves accused of stealing beloved Soulard restaurant mascot

Update July 22, 2018: Senor Frog, the unofficial mascot of Mission Taco in Soulard, has returned. A Twitter post by the restaurant, show the sculpture back at its post with a note that reads in part, "Sometimes a frog parties too much and makes bad decisions."

- Original Story -

ST. LOUIS – Mission Taco in Soulard is on a mission to solve the heist of its beloved Senor Frog.

“It’s kind of our mascot,” said general manager Erin Lang.

On Friday, July 13, 2018, two paying customers decided to snatch the mascot that sits by the entrance.

Even with plenty of customers around—though naturally not paying attention—the restaurant’s surveillance cameras were watching.

Employees consider the frog as sort of a protector of their restaurant space.

“They paid cash, so we can’t track them via credit card,” Lang said about the men. “But we do have their face now.”

As a favor to the thieves, restaurant management has chosen to temporarily hide their faces on social media posts.

“We didn’t want to throw them under the bus yet,” Lang said. “We are trying to be the better person and give them an opportunity to redeem themselves.”

In the surveillance video, one of the two men wearing a t-shirt and shorts is seen walking past the bar, doing a quick look over his left shoulder, and casually picking up the mascot before walking out.

“I’m sure they were not anticipating for us to be doing our investigation and we will go to the police if we have to,” Lang said.

Frequent customers who have grown accustomed to seeing the glasses wearing, hat bearing, and banjo playing brass frog aren’t happy either.

“It’s crazy rude because that's our frog,” said Evan Hughey. “But they just took it and acted like it was theirs and it’s not right.”

Employees said that while they realize it may not be a big deal to anyone else outside of the restaurant, Senor Frog is part of their family.

“It has a lot of meaning to us,” Lang said. “It’s sentimental and we love it and we want him back.”

Lang said the restaurant is offering a $200 gift card as a reward for anyone with information in the safe return of their mascot. Tipsters can contact the restaurant via email at info@missiontacojoint.com.