Soriano placed the custom-made Build-A-Bear inside a bag along with other belongings, including her citizenship card, an iPad and a Nintendo Switch.
The bag was stolen while Soriano and her fiancé attended to a friend who called them to inform that they had been hit by a van.
VIDEO of suspect with my bag walking through the alley in between The Junction and Mumbai Local! Working on making this a gif. He’s wearing a white cap, black baggy shorts, black shoes with white soles, a baggy white tshirt and a black sweater. He had a backpack w/ a white stripe pic.twitter.com/5pEtUn4CWk
The teddy bear contains a recording of Soriano’s mother’s words before going into hospice care.
“At hospice her voice was different. Much softer. Not the mom I grew up with,” Soriano told CBC News. “That bear is the last memory I have of her speaking in her normal voice.”
Here’s the video, I know it’s not the best angle, but i’m working on putting the other two up. This local restaurant, Gurkha was extremely helpful and cooperative! SO GRATEFUL for their help!! Please send them my thanks next time you eat there!! pic.twitter.com/YGdpUwr4v0
After surveying alleys, putting up posters and responding to messages on social media, Soriano retrieved the bear in a safe location on Tuesday night. Two Good Samaritans claimed to have recognized the thief from the available security footage.
“We waited, and lo and behold, he [one of the Good Samaritans] just pulled Mama Bear out of his bag, and I just immediately started crying,” Soriano told Global News. “I could not believe it! She was wrapped in a handkerchief, and when he unwrapped it, my knees just buckled… I couldn’t see anything immediately, because my eyes just immediately welled up! I snatched her out of his arms before he could even fully take her out of the handkerchief, and I just hugged her so tightly. I just couldn’t believe my eyes!”
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