Harry, a life-size fibreglass horse that has guarded the front door of a saddlery store in Kelowna, B.C. for nearly 30 years, was loaded into a U-Haul van Monday and driven away — in an audacious afternoon theft.
Now the store owners are appealing to the public for help finding their missing "family" member.
"It was stolen from the front of the store while we were working in the store," said Heather Robson, co-owner of Diamond H Tack Shop on Kirchner Rd., told CBC's Daybreak South Wednesday.
"I'm quite emotionally upset."
Kelowna RCMP Sgt. Kevin Duggan said police received a complaint about the stolen horse shortly before 5 p.m. on Monday.
"Two people driving a 15-foot U-Haul cube van had pulled up in front of [the store] …and loaded up the fibreglass horse," said Duggan, adding that one of the people appeared on surveillance footage to be a female with blonde hair.
RCMP confirmed Harry had been spotted in a U-Haul cube van with the number "DC 2372 L" at around 5:30 p.m. on Mills Road, behind a Bed Bath and Beyond store, though the horse's current whereabouts are not known.
Harry is described as having a brown head and torso with a white bottom, standing 15 hands tall — about five feet — on a steel frame with wheels, and wearing a blue checkered blanket.
"He's part of the community, and we'd just really like him back," said Robson. "We're a small business. There's five of us that work here. [Harry's] there to open our business, and … to close our business."
Robson said she and store co-owner Heather Moffat are asking the public to report any sightings of the U-Haul to the police.
They hope someone might have dashcam footage of the van that would help identify who rented it, so they can "bring some justice to this terrible event."