A totem pole that was stolen from a hotel in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside was returned on Sunday.

The eight-foot tall totem pole was installed in the courtyard of the Stanley Hotel about a week ago. It was meant to be a symbol of hope and light in the neighbourhood.

Surveillance footage showed thieves carrying it away late Thursday night.

Richard Mountain, who spent a year carving the totem pole with his friends, received a phone call at 2 a.m. Sunday telling him it had been returned.

Mountain said he knew he would see the totem pole again.

"I believe in Karma," he said. "And it's like eight-feet tall. How can anybody miss that going down the street without saying anything about it?"

The totem pole depicts an eagle, raven, bear and killer whale.