A priceless, gigantic statue of a bear being smothered in chocolate that was stolen from a Russel Stover factory more than a year ago has now been returned to its rightful owners.
The bear, which is 150 pounds and four feet tall, was stolen from the outside of a chocolate factory in Abiline, Kansas. Police initially investigated the discovery, according to The Wichita Eagle, but the case remained open with police offering a $1,000 reward for whoever could return the bear.
“This had become a running joke,” Jason Wilkins, Abilene Police Department assistant chief, told the paper. “We followed several leads and it never worked out, so we are extremely pleased to return it.”
Then on December 13 a deputy at the Dickinson County Sheriff’s Office got a tip about who had stolen the bear from a concerned citizen. This tip led the police to a garage where the bear was chilling, in the same exact condition from 2016.
Most commenters on the Abilene Police Department Facebook wrote about how happy they were that the bear was back for the sake of the children who loved to take pictures with it. Others, not so much. “Doesn’t look like the same one,” one person commented. “Whoever did it will end up buying way out. It was a inside job or something like that,” another wrote.
As for why anyone would kidnap (or honestly how they kidnapped) the bear, we can only speculate. My theory is that he’s secretly alive and just walked away from the factory, fatigued by having to take photos with small screaming children, year after year. What’s yours?!