A trailer and its contents, belonging to Stephanie and William Williamson, stolen early on the morning of Aug. 10, were recovered last week.
Last August, the couple who owns Bear Butt Carvings, had returned to their sales lot beside Sierra Energy on Highway 70 in Portola to find everything gone.
Gone was the trailer that stored their merchandise, the grinning carved bears and colorful mushrooms that surrounded the site; gone was the potential of summer income earned through their hard work; gone was the hope their little boy Edward had that you don’t do bad things and get away with it. Until now.
The Williamsons got a call from a California Highway Patrol officer informing them that the trailer had been found.
According to the tow yard in Doyle that picked up the trailer on Jan. 8, the trailer had come from Reno. The tow company charged the Williamsons $600 for the recovery and storage of the vehicle. The company ended up reducing the bill to $400 after hearing the circumstances.
A post appeared on Bear Butt Carvings’ Facebook page on Jan. 13 that read, “We have gotten the stolen trailer back! About half of the carvings are still in it. I don’t know all of the details yet but this is a good way to start the year.”
“Seeing the trailer and the contents inside brought it all back. I had to relive it all again,” said Stephanie Williamson. “Whomever had it rifled through and took what they wanted.”
Following the theft last August, residents and law enforcement stayed on alert to recover the trailer. Video surveillance was reviewed to reveal photos of the truck and thieves. The updates that Williamson posted on their Facebook page went viral and support from around the world flooded the posts.
The community rallied to support the young family and a veteran befriended them, building them a shed to store the remaining carvings. The couple and their son worked night and day to ensure they would still reap the benefits of a busy summer tourist season.
There were no arrests made and the case is considered open and under investigation. The public is asked to continue to share information about the theft by contacting the Plumas County Sheriff’s Office at 283-6300.
The $2,000 reward is still available for the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the theft. “Somebody needs to go to jail because they committed a crime,” said Williamson.