As the Hilltop Steak House on Route 1 in Saugus prepares to shut its doors and take down its 68-foot neon cactus, someone appears to be trying to profit from nostalgia for the longtime restaurant, police said.
On Monday, the management of the restaurant, which is set to close after 52 years, reported the theft of two antique pots, worth $600 each, and 10 service plates with the Hilltop logo, valued at $20 each, Assistant Chief Ron Giorgetti of the Saugus police said Friday.
“I think it’s just the customers, in general, trying to take little bits of nostalgia from the restaurant,” he said. “Maybe they don’t think of it as a crime, but it is a larceny to steal from a business.”
Giorgetti said management later reported additional thefts of several leather-bound menus and additional items, but he did not have full details on those crimes.
Some of the missing items, he said, appear to have shown up on the eBay online auction website.
On Friday, two oval plates and a place mat bearing the Hilltop logo were listed on the site, though it was not clear whether they were among those stolen recently. Bids for the plates had reached $41 and $35.98 early Friday afternoon.
Giorgetti said he could not recall other thefts of Hilltop-branded items prior to the announcement that the restaurant would soon close.
He said police were attempting to identify and recover the items. He declined to comment on whether officers had contacted the eBay seller, saying that he could not discuss details of an open investigation.
“We are working with management to deter or prevent any further thefts,” Giorgetti said.