Latest indignity for Hilltop Steakhouse: Thieves lasso fiberglass calves

In the latest indignity to befall the Hilltop Steakhouse, the Route 1 icon that closed over the weekend, thieves lassoed two fiberglass calves that were part of a herd that stood watch in front, authorities say.

The Hilltop, a staple of family dining for a half a century, has been hit with a spate of thefts over the past few weeks.

“The black baby calves were taken, with a value of $1,000 each,” said Ronald Giorgetti, assistant police chief in Saugus. “That took place sometime Friday.”

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In addition to the cows, 200 plates valued at $20 each and 300 menus valu ed at $5 each have been stolen. Additionally, a photo of a Native American valued at $300 was taken, along with a copper pot.

The copper pot was found after an anonymous caller notified Saugus police that it would be at a certain location at a certain time. When police arrived, the pot was there, Giorgetti said.

“I don’t think people realize this is an actual crime,” he said. “It is nostalgic, but it hurts the business; just the plates alone are worth $4,000. It all starts to add up.”

Giorgetti said police are investigating the crimes and working with the Hilltop as well as eBay — the online auction site where many of the stolen goods have been resold — to track down the items and the culprits.

“I’m sure it’s happened in other locations, but I haven’t seen anything similar in Saugus to this,” Giorgetti said.