Artwork returned following apparent theft from downtown Victoria taphouse

A video posted to social media shows a man allegedly stealing artwork from a downtown Victoria establishment.

A Victoria brewpub says a man allegedly seen taking artwork from a wall in surveillance video has returned the item.

Whistle Buoy Brewing posted the video to its Instagram account on Wednesday.

“On Saturday, this crew came to our business for 30 minutes and stole just about everything they touched including the accessibility mirror from our washroom, a custom handmade piece of art, and the glassware from the drinks they had,” the company wrote.

The video showed one of the four men, who are each labelled with less-than-flattering monikers, removing a hand-made piece of art from the wall behind him.

“This piece of art was hand made by our dear friends @dobellsignco the very talented traditional sign writers. It was their gift to us to celebrate our opening and commemorate our friendship,” the brewpub wrote.

“We do not know it’s value, but it stood for the things we value, celebrating arts, culture and community, and we proudly put it on display for all to enjoy. Seeing the empty space on the wall where it’s meant to be mounted feels like a slap in the face and it deeply saddens us.”

The business also alleged the video showed the same man lifting his shirt to show his friends an accessibility mirror he’d stolen from the washroom.

“The shocking part of it all is that there is a security camera blatantly above their table that they seemed too inept to recognize,” Whistle Buoy said.

After apparently giving the men chances to come forward “without showing their faces” and not hearing anything, Whistle Buoy’s Instagram account then posted the surveillance video edited as a light-hearted parody of a Crime Stoppers video in hopes someone would recognize them, and also contacted police.

Whistle Buoy Brewing said in an update later Wednesday the man seen in the video had contacted them and returned the piece of artwork.

“We’re going to remove the post and move on,” it said.

Victoria police confirmed they were investigating prior to the artwork being returned, and now say they will wait to hear from the complainant before determining what happens with the file.


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