An Oakville Museum employee arrived at work one morning earlier this month to find a statue of the Hindu god Ganesh sitting in the parking lot.
Halton police were baffled how the 500-pound statue got there and why someone would leave it. They had to call in Oakville's road and works department to move the statue and on Monday issued a news release requesting the public's help in identifying the owner of the statue.
"We have good information, given the size of it, it would be taken from a temple area as opposed to a home," said Sergeant Dave Cross to the National Post.
The three-foot tall statue of the elephantine god is missing two arms so police don't believe it was intended as a donation for the museum. As seen in the picture, the two top arms appear to be broken off. Museum director Nina de Vaal also told the Post the statue isn't the type of thing that would go in the museum, which usually carries artifacts from the early 1900s.
While police believed it may have been stolen from a temple, there were no reports of Ganesh thefts in the area.
"We really want to know if somebody can recognize and give us an idea as to how it got here, because we certainly don't have a clue," said Sergeant Peter Hodgson in a Toronto Star article.
Lucky for police, today there was a break in the case. The news release and media reports led the rightful owner of the statue to call police. According to a CBC article, the owner had paid someone to dispose of it. It had been shipped to him from India, but arrived in a damaged state and it is bad luck to display a damaged statue. The owner, who doesn't wish to be identified, had no idea it would end up in the museum parking lot.
(Photo courtesy of Halton Regional Police Service)