Boulder police track down big stuffed bear 'kidnapped' from Montbell store at a campsite

BOULDER, Colo. - A big stuffed bear "kidnapped" from outside a Boulder store Tuesday evening was recovered two days later from a campsite where it had been passed  from one group of campers to another.

"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."

"Three male suspects, visiting from out of state, kidnapped the bear" from outside the Montbell store on Pearl Street just before 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Kobel said. No one was able to identify the culprits or their getaway car and police had little to work with until Thursday evening.

Officers found a personal ad on Craigslist showing a photo of a man hugging the bear outside the Montbell store, Kobel said. The ad asked the women who "may or may not have helped" steal the bear to contact the poster.

"Police contacted the suspect through the ad, and he confessed to stealing the bear with his friends," Kobel said.

The suspect told police he and his accomplices, who are all from out of state, took the bear camping in the Roosevelt National Forest because they thought it would be "fun."

They eventually gifted the bear to another group of out-of-state campers they'd met at the campsite.

Kobel says the suspect from the Craigslist ad told officers how to get to the campsite.

"They immediately located the bear -- which was being held against his will -- in a nearby Jeep," Kobel wrote.

The campers who were given the bear cooperated with the investigation. Kobel said it will be up to the owners of the Montbell store to decide whether to pursue charges.

The bear will be returned Friday afternoon.

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