'We Are Heartbroken To Say The Least That Someone Would Do Such A Thing'

JERICHO, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — The Milleridge Inn desperately wants its rooster back.

The landmark inn located in Jericho, N.Y. is offering a $500 reward or 10 free dinners for the safe return of the iconic rooster that has called the inn home for the past 50 years.

The 3-foot-tall, 400-pound bronze rooster went missing Friday night. The inn’s owner, Owen Smith, filed a stolen-property report with Nassau County police on Monday.

“The rooster didn’t just walk off,” Smith said. “You would have needed a van or a big back seat to get him out of here. He was a big bird.

“I feel hurt that somebody would come and take it,” Smith told CBS 2’s Tracee Carrasco. ” … It’s probably worth money in the junkyard. They may have stolen it to do that or as a prank.”

The Smiths are asking anyone who comes across the bird — a scrap vendor, a Good Samaritan or the thief  — to please return him to the Milleridge, no questions asked.

“It saddens me that anyone would take our rooster,” said Bernadette Casey-Smith. “He is as big a part of our Milleridge family as our chefs, servers and support staff.”

The Milleridge Inn was built in 1672 and served as a wayside inn for the Underground Railroad during the Abolitionist period in the 1800s. Today, it consists of a 1000-seat restaurant and the Shops at Milleridge Village.

Anyone with information is asked to please call the Nassau County Police. All information will be kept confidential.

You may also call the Milleridge Inn at 516-931-2201 x 4.

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