Police arrest Baby Bear statue thief in Island community

Suspect alleged to be responsible for other crimes in Chemainus, Nanaimo, Ladysmith and Alberta

The scene from the Bosch family’s living room window Tuesday night, with police lights flashing out front. (Photo submitted)

The bizarre saga of the person sought in the theft of the Baby Bear statue in Chemainus took another strange twist Tuesday night with his arrest in the yard of a Chemainus home.

The suspect was caught on video surveillance kicking and then dismantling the statue from its anchored place at Baby Bear’s Ice Cream Shoppe in the early morning hours Monday. By Tuesday morning, the statue had been left on the side of a haul road with a note reading: “I am so sorry for taking the bear.” By Tuesday night, the suspect was arrested.

Ed and Cheryl Bosch were watching TV Tuesday night in their Chemainus Road home south of Chemainus when they felt like they were in the middle of a TV movie.

“They got the bear thief, he’s in my yard,” Ed confirmed Tuesday night.

At precisely 6:52 p.m., according to Cheryl, “I jumped up and there was three cop cars in our driveway and a police dog.”

They watched the drama unfold before being told what was happening by an officer, but gathered it was pertaining to the suspect being sought in the Baby Bear statue theft and more, as it turns out.

“I think it was maybe about 15 minutes later one of the police officers came to our door and said ‘sorry for the scare’ and apparently this guy has been under surveillance for quite some time,” said Cheryl.

“They said they’ve been wanting to catch him for quite some time. The video at the Bear place was so well done they managed to get a really good shot at his face.

“He said the guy had realized he was under surveillance and tried to ditch his bike in our front yard and take off. The police officer was quite happy they caught him.”

North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP and a plainclothes officer from Nanaimo were on the scene.

The officer said the suspect was alleged to have a connection with other crimes in Nanaimo, possibly Ladysmith and even Alberta as well as the drilling of a gas tank at Sandpiper Gardens and Glass in Chemainus.

“I’m just glad they caught him,” added Cheryl.

The Bosches are no strangers to unusual activity in their yard. Last year, a person going past their residence suffered an overdose and emergency personnel arrived on the scene.

“It just seems to be happening around our yard,” sighed Cheryl.

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Images of the suspect from surveillance video at Baby Bear’s Ice Cream Shoppe. (Photos submitted)

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