CARROLLTON, Texas -- Between the fried drumsticks and the biscuits with honey, it's not unusual to get sticky fingers at Babe's Chicken, but some customers in Carrollton recently took it a little too far.
A group of young diners made off with a cherished mascot, a life-size dummy named Rick.
"He's been here for a very long time," said general manager Patrick Sinclair. "He's an entertainer in our restaurant."
Babe's has multiple locations in North Texas, serving their signature family-style meals, and every location has its own Rick. Rick often joins diners at tables, where he's not much of a conversationalist but is popular for photos.
Sunday before last, security cameras captured several young men sneaking Rick out a side door of the restaurant and taking him to the parking lot to a getaway car. The restaurant staff didn't realize the mascot was missing until the next morning.
"We're looking around, and we're like, 'Where's Rick? He's not here,'" recalled Sinclair.
Rick is a dummy used in medical training, and Sinclair said he's worth some $1500. So after a week on the lam, Babe's called Carrollton Police. Sinclair said they are regulars.
"Our main thing is we just want him back," he said.
Carrollton PD posted the security camera footage to their Facebook page yesterday, and within a few hours, Rick made his return home. The restaurant got a call telling them that Rick was outside on a bench, and the caller apologized for what they said was a prank. The restaurant is now thanking the police department.
"I believe that's absolutely what made the difference, because it wasn't too long after that, Rick came back," said Sinclair.
Babe's believes it knows which party was responsible for the heist, but now that Rick has been returned, they said they won't press charges. They said they do hope, however, that in the future diners will only leave with leftover chicken.