Police in Germany are hunting a real-life cookie monster after a prized golden biscuit emblem was stolen from outside one of Germany's most famous confectionery makers.
The Bahlsen biscuit company's emblem has hung above its headquarters in Hanover since 1913 and was first reported stolen a week ago.
Just days after the theft a bizarre ransom not was sent to a local newspaper which included a picture of the thief dressed as the "Cookie Monster" from children's television series "Sesame Street", pretending to take a bite from the golden biscuit.
The ransom note, which was received by Hannoversche Allgemeine Zeitung this week said: "I have the biscuit! You want it and therefore you want on one day in February, to give biscuits to all the children in Bult hospital. But those with milk chocolate, not those with dark chocolate and not those without chocolate. And a golden biscuit for the child cancer ward."
The alleged cookie-monster turned thief called for the €1,000 (~$1,350) being offered by Bahlsen for information leading to the thief's arrest be donated to a local animal shelter.
Failure to follow his instructions will result in the cookie "end[ing] up with Oscar [the Grouch] in the dustbin," the note concludes.
In a message posted on Facebook on Thursday and addressed to the monster, Bahlsen promised to donate 52,000 packets of biscuits to charities if the 20 kg (44 pound) golden biscuit was returned.
A spokeswoman has also denied media suggestions that the theft and ransom note were part of a marketing stunt and said the firm was anxious to recover the emblem as soon as possible.
Bahlsen was founded in July 1889, and its best-known product is the Leibniz butter biscuit.