A colorful statue nicknamed the Pizza Bandito that sat in the grass just outside Lone Tree’s Mellow Mushroom restaurant has vanished.
Although Pizza Bandito is described by the Mellow Mushroom as a “reformed fast-food felon” and bears a striking resemblance to the McDonald’s Hamburglar, he was the new restaurant’s mascot.
Restaurant employees said he was last seen the evening of Sept. 7.
“Pizza Bandito was not only a mascot, he was a friend,” kitchen manager Matt Danley said in a press release issued by the Mellow Mushroom. “I don’t mean to sound extra-cheesy but if patrons notice that our pizza is a little salty, it’s just because we can’t stop crying.”
The 40-pound, hollow statue was bolted to the ground overlooking nearby Park Meadows Drive.
“The Pizza Bandito was last seen wearing what can only be described as a ‘riot of color’,” according to the press release. “He also had a flat-brimmed Porkpie-style hat and bandit mask. He is 42 but is often mistaken for mascots half that age.”
Lone Tree police are trying to obtain surveillance footage from the adjacent KeyBank ATM to see if it includes video of the theft.
Restaurant employees estimate the statue’s value at about $3,000.
The Mellow Mushroom is offering one free small pizza a month for a year to anyone who provides a tip leading to the Pizza Bandito’s return. To report information, call the Lone Tree Police Department at 303-339-8150.