DE PERE, Wis. (WFRV) A local bake shop in the Green Bay area has been targeted by thieves over the last few months. Days ago they struck again, stealing the unofficial mascot for Uncle Mike’s Bake Shoppe. 

For years a ceramic turtle stood outside of Uncle Mike’s bakeries in De Pere, Suamico and Green Bay.  But as of Friday last week, Nate Vande Walle says those family keepsakes have all been stolen.

“Two of them happened late last week and the third happened in December,” said Vande Walle whose parents started the business. “It’s sad, they’ve been part of the community. We’ve had at least one of them for 19 years.”

This is the turtle that was a part of the De Pere store for nearly two decades.

“It is 42 inches from tail to head, a 3 to 4 foot turtle, not small by any means. Kids love it, they sit on it, sit on the shell, get their picture taken,” he said.

Placed here by Nate’s father – to honor the bakery’s many turtle products.

“We’ve got the turtle cheesecakes, turtle tortes, turtle donuts, turtle kringel now and we thought let’s have a turtle and a road sign,” said Nate.

The turtles quickly became popular, with customers volunteering to touch up the paint as needed and families often pausing for a picture or two. When they were stolen, customers noticed.

“Friday morning when they came in – they were sad the turtle was gone,” he said.

And Vande Walle’s family would like them back.

“We’re hoping to get them back. If it’s done during the night when we’re not here, perfect. At least we have the turtles,” Nate said.

If you have any information on the stolen turtles,  you’re urged to contact the Brown County Sheriff’s Office.