Petey, a 100-pound gargoyle in central Vancouver Island that flew the coop thanks to thieves early Wednesday, is back on his perch.
The concrete garden ornament, owned by John Zehanoviz and his wife Shavauna Ronan, was returned by RCMP to the couple’s downtown Nanaimo residence early Thursday, May 28, after it was discovered in a homeless camp by a City of Nanaimo cleaning crew several hours after it went missing.
“We’ve had him for like 15, 16 years,” Zehanoviz said. “First we kept him on top of the house in Ladysmith and then we’ve moved to different places and he’s been on top of our water fountain … we’ve had a couple of other gargoyles and, like in the ancient days, gargoyles were put up to protect your castle and our house is our castle so he’s there to help protect us.”
The name Petey, as it turns out, came about as a result of the Nanaimo RCMP investigation to find the ornament after it was reported stolen. Zehanoviz said it was the investigating officer who suggested the name “Petey,” which also happened to be one of the characters in comic book owned by Zehanoviz’s grandson, who often stays with them.
“So the officer who came to the house is responsible for the name Petey, which is a great name, by the way,” Zehanoviz said.
The constable delivered the gargoyle to Zehanoviz’s home at about 6:15 a.m.
“I appreciate it and kudos to the cops … we reported it when I got home after work,” Zehanoviz said. “They put it out in the media and they found it so quick it was unbelievable. We were surprised that Petey was going to come back, so the police were just awesome.”
Zehanoviz said the culprits who stole the statue had kicked a hole in the bottom of his fence, which has barbed wire running along the top of it, and he has added more security to keep Petey from being stolen again.
“So I’ve boarded up the fence more and I’ve added more barbed wire,” he said.