The bookworm sculpture worth $6,000 thought to be stolen in early July was actually junked accidentally, say Abbotsford Police.
The APD originally believed thieves had made off with the 4' x 5' solid wood structure featuring a bright, lime-green worm reading a book, which was anchored at the northwest corner of Essendene and Pauline.
The Abbotsford Downtown Business Association was perplexed that anyone would make off with the iconic statue.
Witnesses reported seeing a middle-aged man cutting the bolts of the sculpture in broad daylight and carrying it away.
However, it turns out the man who removed the statue was actually the property manager of the adjacent strip mall, said Const. Ian MacDonald.
The manager noted the wooden structure supporting the sculpture was rotting and he didn't think it was repairable, said MacDonald.
The faceplate on the art piece mentioned Prospera Credit Union, but that tenant had moved from the mall, so the manager assumed the bank hadn't wanted the sculpture and left it behind.
As a result, the manager went ahead and disposed of the art piece, said MacDonald.
"I was a misunderstanding . . . not a theft," he said.
"But the bookworm is gone. It was junked. He is no more."
The manager contacted police after hearing that people thought the bookworm had been stolen.
He is looking to right the wrong, said MacDonald.
"The property manager and the ADBA are working cooperatively to figure out how to get a replacement for that piece."
Prospera donated the art piece to the city in 2001.
Abbotsford artist Scott Robertson with the help of students from the former North Poplar School of Fine Arts created the bookworm
-with files from Christina Toth