Part of a whimsical landmark in the Greenwood area has gone missing, and the owner said he’s disappointed that someone would steal something that has charmed residents and passersby for years: a concrete black bear cub.
The missing statue is part of an ursine assemblage of a mama and two cubs positioned at the edge of a pond between Lebanon Presbyterian Church and Ridgely Farm Road in Western Albemarle County.
“I’ve had those bears down there for years,” Dice Hammer, who owns the statues and the farmland they sit on, told The Daily Progress. “We are definitely attached to them because we get so much comment on them.”
Drivers often do a double take when passing the scene, said Linda Hester Vincent, who grew up nearby.
“They do look real and have been talking points for years,” Hester told The Daily Progress.
The Albemarle County Police Department told The Daily Progress it is looking into the incident but had no new information to add on Wednesday.
About a decade ago, Hammer said, a citizen tip about someone in a pickup truck swiping both cubs led to their speedy return. But this recent bear-napping has already lasted at least a week. Deep tire ruts in the grass just outside the farm fence may offer a clue about the getaway.
Whoever took the cub this time, Hammer urged them to consider the joy they bring to others and return them.
“I give people directions to the farm, and they say, ‘Oh, where the bears are.’”