Giant hot dog stolen — and returned in tatters

See why this frank prank wasn’t funny to a hardworking, hot dog-vending entrepreneur – who now must foot the bill to refurbish their six-foot tall mascot costume …

At this event in May, Portland Police Bureau East Precinct Cadets Maritza Delgado and Lily Rodriguez said they relished their time with Frankie the Frankfurter – before he was stolen and left in tatters last weekend.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
Mucio Morin, owner of Frankie’s Franks, is still steamed that his mascot, Frankie the Frankfurter, was stolen from his SE 82nd Avenue of Roses and SE Cooper Street location, about 10:30 p.m. on Saturday night, July 17.

“We’d just done some touch up work on the costume, getting it ready for an appearance at the Gateway Area Business Association’s Fun-O-Rama Fair on Sunday,” Morin tells us. “We were letting the paint dry, and went back inside. When we came out a few minutes later, it was gone.”

Folks visiting the GABA Fun-O-Rama Fair said they were disappointed that Frankie the Frankfurter didn’t make an appearance with Mucio Morin and Desiree Palmer their booth. “Capt’n America” did his best to fill in for the missing, giant wiener.

Police find kidnapped character
Morin says he notified police; and while they were sympathetic and took down the facts of the crime, they didn’t offer much hope for finding the pilfered hot dog suit.

“The police did find the costume on Monday, January 19,” Morin continues. “I think the parents of the kids that took it let them know; they found it at bus stop at SE 88th Avenue and SE Foster Road.”

The parents of the kids who stole it – said to be 13-year-olds – suggested that their errant children “work off” the cost of repairs to the costume, now in tatters and with a missing eye. “But, with liability issues and child labor laws, it’s just not practical,” Morin shrugs.

Not able to afford to have their beloved mascot, Frankie the Frankfurter repaired, Morin says the costumed character isn’t likely to be greeting people of the street for quite some time.

Mucio Morin told us he “bootstrapped” the business – starting up from scratch, five years ago, after refurbishing a used food vending trailer. “For us, it’s another expense that makes it even more difficult to continue in business. We need our mascot to help attract business to our two locations.”

While he hopes the families will pay the costs to repair the costume, Morin says he suspects compensation is unlikely.

Sadly, an activity that provide a few minutes of sadistic, sick fun for unsupervised youth – out roaming the streets at 10:30 p.m. – severely damaged the costume used to help promote this family business.

You can help
Instead of going to a franchised fast-food store, keep an eye out for one of these two small shops, and treat the family or office to “tube-steak-in-a-bun” lunch or dinner from Frankie’s Franks.

  • 6829 SE 82nd Ave. of Roses (a couple blocks south of SE Duke St.)
  • 111th NE Halsey St. (in the Gateway area at 111th Square)

Or, to see their website, CLICK HERE.

© 2010 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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