ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) - It's signed by famous stars like Brian Cranston, Johnny Depp and Arnold Schwarzenegger, but a very important piece to a well-known restaurant was stolen Friday night.
The crooks were caught on tape and they aren't the usual suspects.
Restaurant managers say a couple out to dinner became crooks when they took a very popular prop, a baseball bat, from Vernon's Hidden Valley Steakhouse near 4th and Osuna in Albuquerque.
Now the gangster they stole it from wants it back, or else.
The rules are simple at the 20's, speakeasy style venue.
"No Rodger's, Roscoe's, Choppers or Tommy guns," said Doorman Jackamoe Buzzell in his thick New York gangster accent.
And there is absolutely no stealing the merchandise, but the couple didn't listen to that.
"Usually here I'd pick up the bat and wave it around and say I don't use the bat to play baseball," Buzzell said.
Buzzell says he uses the prop to break the ice.
"No matter what customers think of the whole schpeel, the monologue, when I pick up that bat and say 'you know breaking the rules is a real no no', it's just pure entertainment," Buzzell said.
The bat has been part of his routine for more than two years and it is signed by famous customers who come in like Johnny Depp, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Brian Cranston.
Surveillance cameras caught the couple in action Friday night just before 11 p.m. Video shows them leaving the dining room, stop and think about taking the item, then go all in and flee with the bat.
Buzzell said it wasn't the smartest move.
"What are they thinking!? A gangster, a speak easy, HELLO!!" Buzzell said.
He has this message for them.
"What's wrong with you!? Just bring me the bat back and we'll forget a bout it," Buzzell added.
Vernon's does have a list of the reservations made that night, so they're looking for leads. There's no estimate on what the bat is worth.
If the couple brings it back undamaged, Vernon's will not press charges.
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