A sculpture stolen from Fallbrook's downtown Village Square in July was recovered intact last weekend, according to a published report.
Celou Bonnet, who sculpted the bronze image, titled "Bonjour," told the North County Times Monday that the sculpture's recovery was "the best Christmas present I could get."
Officials said it would have cost around $10,000 to replace the uninsured artwork, according to the paper.
Two deputies responded to a call on the 1100 block of Morro Road near downtown Fallbrook around 5 p.m. Saturday when they found the sculpture.
"The landowner was there cleaning it up, because it's vacant, and he discovered the statue in a blanket and called us," Laibach told the paper. "They went over there, and sure enough, it was the statue that has been missing since July."
He said the department may run tests for fingerprints or other evidence leading to the perpetrator, but added that he doesn't have high hopes since the sculpture was sitting in the elements wrapped in a soggy blanket for up to two weeks.
Detectives' best shot at catching whoever stole the piece would probably be a tip, Laibach said.