Ryan Reynolds offers $5K reward to help find woman's stolen teddy bear
Mara Soriano's teddy bear, which has a recording of her late mother's voice, was in a Herschel backpack that was stolen from Vancouver's West End on July 24, 2020. (Mara Soriano)
VANCOUVER -- B.C.-born actor Ryan Reynolds has promised $5,000 for the return of a Vancouver woman's stolen teddy bear, which was a gift from her dying mother.
Mara Soriano's bear has glasses, a red dress with a fruit pattern, and a white jacket, but what really sets it apart is a recording of her late mom, Marilyn.
The stuffed animal, which was created at Build-a-Bear Workshop, has a "voice recording saying that she loves me," Soriano wrote in an emotional post on social media.
"I listened to and hugged the bear every time I missed her," she said.
The bear was stored with other important items, including Soriano's passport, Canadian citizenship documents, a Mickey Mouse wallet that used to belong to her mother, and some electronics, in a Herschel backpack that was stolen around noon Friday in Vancouver's West End neighbourhood.
"I don't care about the electronics, I just want my bear back," Soriano, who works as a storyboard artist, wrote on Twitter.
The backpack was taken from the alley behind the Shopper's Drug Mart near Davie and Thurlow streets. Soriano said she dropped it after receiving a call that a good friend had been struck by a car.
"I've been kicking myself so hard for letting my guard down for even a moment," she said. "I panicked, I didn't know the severity of his situation and dropped everything to get him."
As her heartbreaking posts about the bear were getting shared on social media, Reynolds chimed in to offer $5,000 for the bear to be returned to its rightful owner.
"I think we all need this bear to come home," Reynolds said.
The story also caught the attention of Zach Braff, who tweeted: "I NEED THIS BEAR TO COME HOME!"
Soriano said she has received some tips about the backpack, and a couple businesses in the area have shared surveillance video with her that might help track down the stuffed animal or her other belongings.
Anyone with information can contact Soriano by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Vancouver police said people can also share tips with the department by calling 604-717-3321.