Big bear back where he belongs, as stuffed animal is "recaptured," say Boulder cops

CBS Denver
(CBS) BOULDER, Colo. - Police say they have returned a large missing stuffed bear to its rightful owner, after it was stolen from a store in Boulder and tracked down in the forest, CBS Denver reported.

An ad posted on Craigslist by the alleged thieves unwittingly pointed the way for police.

The big bear was taken from outside a store at the Peal Street Mall sometime Tuesday evening, June 18. There were no witnesses to the abduction and no leads in the case, until the store was tipped off to a Craigslist ad on Thursday in the "missed connections" section, according to CBS Denver.

After receiving the tip, Boulder police viewed the ad, which showed a photo of a man hugging the bear outside the store. The ad asked the women who "may or may not have helped" steal the stuffed animal to contact the poster. Instead, police reportedly contacted the suspect, and the man allegedly confessed to stealing the bear with his friends.

The suspect, according to CBS Denver, told police that he and his accomplices took the bear camping in the Roosevelt National Forest, because they thought it would be "fun."

The suspect said that when they left the campsite they handed off the bear to another group of campers.

Boulder police responded to their campsite and found the bear being "held against its will," they noted in a tongue-and-cheek news release about the "late-night forest rescue."

The stuffed bear does not appear to have been harmed.

"The bear does not appear to be injured, but he was missing his fishing vest when police found him," Boulder police spokeswoman Kim Kobel wrote in a news release. "The bear has not shared any information about what happened to him during the incident."