A Kelowna restaurant desperately wants its mascot back after it was stolen last month.
It was discovered on Aug. 14 by staff at the Grizzly Bear Bistro and Bar on Pier Mac Way that the six-foot-tall wooden bear statue at the front of the restaurant had been stolen overnight, despite it being chained to the building.
Surveillance footage shows the theft was carried out by three male suspects, according to an RCMP news release.
“The vehicle used in the incident is a white mid-2000s Ford F150 with a black tonneau cover and matches the description of a vehicle involved with a previous attempt to steal the statue,” said Kelowna RCMP.
Restaurant manager Anthia Robinson tells Castanet they placed a larger chain on the bear after the last theft attempt.
“I got video footage of it and I got the license plate — he tried taking it a few months back, and he couldn't get it into his truck by himself, so we put a bigger chain on it. And he came back with a friend and took it this time.”
While it seems RCMP have a suspect, the bear is still missing and nobody has been charged.
“They (RCMP) said they went and banged on the door, but the guy denied doing it,” Robinson said.
Police say the male driver of the suspect Ford F150 is described to have white hair and a white beard, wearing an oversized white T-shirt. The second suspect, a younger male, was seen wearing a grey baseball hat, a red shirt, and jeans. Currently, there is no available description for the third male suspect. All three individuals were captured on camera loading the large statue into the back of the Ford before leaving the scene.
“This statue has stood as a guardian welcoming guests for quite some time now and has become an admired piece of this community. The owner and staff earnestly request its safe return,” stated Const. Mike Della-Paolera.
Robinson said the bear has been in front of the business since they opened a little over three years ago.
“He's our mascot. He's part of this part of our restaurant, we had him specially chainsaw carved,” she said. "We would just really like them back.”
Anyone with information regarding this incident is urged to contact the Kelowna RCMP at 250-762-3300 and reference file 2023-47879. Or if you wish to remain anonymous, please contact Central Okanagan Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or leave a tip online at www.crimestoppers.net.