BOULDER COUNTY - It's been a long week for the stuffed bear that normally sits peacefully outside the Boulder Montbell store on Pearl Street in his fishing vest.
Officers from Boulder's Target Crime Team successfully completed a late-night rescue of the stuffed bear Thursday night, finding him being held against his will in a jeep at a campsite in the Roosevelt National Forest.
Police say three men, visiting from out of state, kidnapped the bear on Tuesday just before 7 p.m.
Thursday, officers received a tip about a Craigslist ad, showing a photo of a man hugging the bear outside the Montbell store.
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.
The suspect told police that he and his accomplices from out of state took the bear camping in the Roosevelt National Forest, because they thought it would be "fun."
The suspect said they gifted the bear to another group of out-of-state campers they'd met over the past few days when they left the campsite.
Officers recovered the bear and gave him a special escort back to the Boulder Police Department, where he spent the night.
The bear does not appear to be injured, but he was missing his fishing vest when police found him.
The bear has not shared any information about what happened to him during the incident, so details are not available.
Police interviewed the campers, and they were cooperative during the investigation. It will be up to the owners of the Montbell store to decide whether to pursue charges.
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