Oklahoma City Police were forced to launch a manhunt after an thief made off with a US$3000 (NZ$4500) statue of a purple penguin.
CCTV footage of the thief making off with the penguin statue showed it was nearly half his height.
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Police quickly put the call out on social media for members of the public to let them know if they saw the artwork out and about.
"There's a purple penguin on the loose in OKC! A large purple penguin statue valued at nearly $3,000 was taken from a downtown OKC hotel yesterday afternoon, and we need your help bringing him home."
The post was later updated to say the penguin had been returned to the hotel.
Comments on Facebook didn't provide much help in finding the man, but many seemed to see the funny side of the situation.
"So you're telling me...the purple penguin perp purportedly prisoned for pilfering penguins?" one person said.
"The news about this has been very penguinteresting," another wrote.
No information has been released about whether the man behind the theft will face charges.