Claire Mackie, Mr. Mike’s Steakhouse owner and operator, holds a stuffy after a giant giraffe was stolen early Sunday morning – one that was meant as a Christmas gift for children. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)

Claire Mackie, Mr. Mike’s Steakhouse owner and operator, holds a stuffy after a giant giraffe was stolen early Sunday morning – one that was meant as a Christmas gift for children. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)

UPDATED: Langford stuffed animal thief comes forward

Video footage shows woman stealing giraffe from restaurant’s stuffed toy drive

The woman caught on video stealing a five-foot-tall stuffed giraffe from a Langford restaurant’s toy drive has come forward.

On Sunday morning, a customer left Mr. Mike’s Steakhouse Restaurant with a stuffed animal meant to be a Christmas gift for children in Victoria General Hospital’s pediatric ward.

The restaurant’s owner and operator Claire Mackie caught the suspect on security camera and shared it to Mr. Mike’s Facebook page Monday morning. The video shows a group of five leaving just before 12:30 a.m. on Sunday.

The last person out the door appears to grab the giraffe and quickly run out of the restaurant.

“It’s heartbreaking,” Mackie said. “We’re trying to put smiles on kids’ faces. There are people out there who try to make the holidays better and then there are those who try to ruin it.”

Assistant General Manager Arun Stiles said the woman has since called the restaurant and admitted to staff that she was the one who took the toy.

“She gave us a call and let us know that she was aware of everything going on on social media,” Stiles said. “She apologized for taking the giraffe.”

Stiles said she offered to bring the giraffe back, but he informed her that the restaurant can no longer accept it.

Mackie told Black Press Media that “since the item was taken out of our doors, we don’t know if the toy was exposed to chemicals, substances, or smoke. It could potentially harm the kids at the hospital who already have low immune systems.”

The woman has offered to donate new toys equaling the $80 to $100 value of the stuffed giraffe she took.

READ MORE: B.C. Mounties replace 91-year-old grandma’s stolen hanging flower basket

This is the third year Mr. Mike’s has held a ‘stuffie’ drive. Every year, they try to donate 100 stuffies for children who are stuck at the hospital over the holidays.

Stiles said even though the thievery was hurtful, the restaurant wants to bring the focus back to the children in need of Christmas joy.

“We’re not out to get her,” Stiles said. “I’m happy she’s going to be bringing it back and making a donation because it’s all about bringing in the donations for the kids.”

Mr. Mike’s is accepting donations for their stuffie drive until Sunday, Dec. 15. Customers who come in on that day can exchange their donation of a new stuffed animal or toy for a free appetizer.

With files from Nina Grossman.

aaron.guillen@goldstreamgazette.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A female prisoner sent Langford police officers a thank-you card after she spent days in their custody. (Twitter/West Shore RCMP)
Woman gives Victoria-area jail 4.5-star review in handwritten card to police after arrest

‘We don’t often get thank you cards from people who stay with us, but this was sure nice to see’: RCMP

Staff and volunteers at the Shaw Centre for the Salish Sea were disappointed by the theft of an educational porpoise skull likely taken on Jan. 8. (Courtesy of Tina Kelly)
Well-loved porpoise skull stolen from Sidney aquarium

Skull had been used for youth and visitor education and outreach for years

The Starbucks in Langford’s Westshore Town Centre is one of almost 300 storefronts that the U.S. coffee giant will be shutting across Canada by the end of March. (Google Maps)
Langford’s Westshore Town Centre Starbucks to close permanently

Popular coffee chain to close 300 storefronts across Canada by end of March

An Oak Bay Police officer handed out five tickets for “fail to obey stop sign” and two tickets for using a cell phone while driving, all within two hours at King George Terrace on Jan. 11. (Oak Bay Police Twitter)
Man confronts unmasked group at Oak Bay Marina

Oak Bay police issue plenty of tickets in short King George Terrace visit

A 45-metre tall call tower is proposed for Westhills Stadium. (Black Press Media file photo)
New cell tower proposed for Westhills Stadium in Langford

Tower will increase capacity in congested network: staff report

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry prepares a daily update on the coronavirus pandemic, April 21, 2020. (B.C. Government)
B.C. adjusts COVID-19 vaccine rollout for delivery slowdown

Daily cases decline over weekend, 31 more deaths

An elk got his antlers caught up in a zip line in Youbou over the weekend. (Conservation Officer Service Photo)
Elk rescued from zip line in Youbou on Vancouver Island

Officials urge people to manage items on their property that can hurt animals

A Trail man has a lucky tin for a keepsake after it saved him from a stabbing last week. File photo
Small tin in Kootenay man’s jacket pocket saved him from stabbing: RCMP

The man was uninjured thanks to a tin in his jacket

Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation Chantel Moore, 26, was fatally shot by a police officer during a wellness check in the early morning of June 4, 2020, in Edmundston, N.B. (Facebook)
Frustrated family denied access to B.C. Indigenous woman’s police shooting report

Independent investigation into B.C. woman’s fatal shooting in New Brunswick filed to Crown

Delta Police Constable Jason Martens and Dezi, a nine-year-old German Shepherd that recently retired after 10 years with Delta Police. (Photo submitted)
Dezi, a Delta police dog, retires on a high note after decade of service

Nine-year-old German Shepherd now fights over toys instead of chasing down bad guys

Nurses collect samples from a patient in a COVID suspect room in the COVID-19 intensive care unit at St. Paul’s hospital in downtown Vancouver, Tuesday, April 21, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
5 British Columbians under 20 years old battled COVID-19 in ICU in recent weeks

Overall hospitalizations have fallen but young people battling the virus in hospital has increased

Canada released proposed regulations Jan. 2 for the fisheries minister to maintain Canada’s major fish stocks at sustainable levels and recover those at risk. (File photo)
New laws would cement DFO accountability to depleted fish stocks

Three B.C. salmon stocks first in line for priority attention under proposed regulations

Trees destroyed a Shoreacres home during a wind storm Jan. 13, 2021. Photo: Submitted
Kootenay woman flees just before tree crushes house

Pamala DeRosa is thankful to be alive

Gin, one of the Kantymirs’ two sheep. (Martha Wickett-Salmon Arm Observer)
Sheep start up ATV, sit in cars and go for walks in Salmon Arm

Until they bought two sheep, Ken and Karleen Kantymir didin’t realize just how social the animals are

Most Read