This Red Baron style tripane was stolen from Michell Airpark recently and then was returned overnight on Jan. 31. (VRCMS/Facebook)

This Red Baron style tripane was stolen from Michell Airpark recently and then was returned overnight on Jan. 31. (VRCMS/Facebook)

Red Baron model plane returned in the middle of the night

Victoria’s Largest Little Airshow organizers await the return of other stolen goods

A stolen model airplane had been returned, much to the delight of its owners.

A red biplane, modeled after Manfred Freiherr von Richthofen’s Red Baron aircraft, had been stolen from the Mitchell Airpark in Central Saanich between Jan. 20 and 27. Thieves broke into a storage container at the site and also took various landscaping supplies, including a John Deere riding lawnmower.

In a Facebook post Jan. 31, Victoria’s Largest Little Airshow organizers — the Victoria Radio Controlled Modelers Society — reported the triplane was dropped off in the middle of the night at the airpark on Lochside Drive.

“Tom Michell discovered it at first light and alerted the Central Saanich Police,” stated the post. “Now … if only someone would drop off the riding lawnmower and weed wackers [sic] somewhere!!”

The group that runs the annual radio-controlled model airshow thanked local media outlets and others who shared the news of the break-in and helped spread the word.

The Red Baron model is used during the airshow alongside a flying doghouse, in tribute to the Peanuts character Snoopy’s legendary imaginary battles with the Red Baron.

Central Saanich Police reported the value of the items taken in the theft is around $10,000.

Anyone with information can call the police at 250-652-4441 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).

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