VICTORIA -- A wooden bear statue that was stolen from a popular Vancouver Island ice cream shop Monday has been returned to its owners.

Mounties in Chemainus say the large, custom-made carving of a bear turned up on a forestry road Tuesday morning along with a note.

North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP were called to the scene at approximately 9:30 a.m. after someone reported seeing the bear statue.

Along with the bear, officers also found a note at the scene that read: "I am so sorry for taking the bear."

RCMP spokesperson Pam Bolton said the statue has now been returned to the Baby Bear's Ice Cream Shoppe in Chemainus. She said the RCMP's forensic identification team is still working to find the perpetrator of the theft.


Baby Bear's Ice Cream Shoppe owner Kathy Yeager told CTV News on Monday that this was the third time one of the shop's bear statues had been stolen.

The hand-carved bears are made by an artist in Oregon and cost thousands of dollars each, she said.

Following the theft in the early hours Monday morning, police also attended the scene of a vehicle nearby that had been damaged.

Police say someone bore a hole into the vehicle's gas tank, draining the fuel into a storm drain.

Firefighters attended the scene to clean up the spill and police recovered a jacket that they believe is linked to the crime.