Allwood Diner in Clifton had someone walk into the restaurant and ran off with their autism awareness bear Oct. 1, 2018. Courtesy of Allwood Diner, North Jersey Record
The autism awareness bear at Allwood Diner in Clifton.(Photo: Courtesy of Allwood Diner)
After a few days missing, the stolen autism awareness bear was returned to Allwood Diner in Clifton Wednesday.
The bear wore a Batman shirt with the symbol for autism awareness on its logo, and was taken from the diner Monday morning. The diner posted a video to Facebook showing someone walk in, make a vague attempt to cover his face, and grab the bear before running out the door with it.
The youngster, though, brought the bear back after seeing the response to its absence.
“It turns out it was a youngster making a not-well-thought-out prank,” the diner posted to Facebook.
Manager Joseph Villanueva said the bear meant something to the diner and that no one has stolen it before.
“It’s just upsetting,” the diner posted on its Facebook page before the bear was returned, “not for the value of the item but for the mere fact that someone would actually walk in and steal the autism teddy bear in broad daylight.”
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Now the diner is being buried in bears. Logothetis said he’s been inundated with stuffed bears from people who have learned that the bear was taken and that if he gets any more he’s going to have to start donating them to local charities.
“We were amazed at the outpouring of support from the Clifton community including offers to replace the bear as well as helping to find those responsible,” the diner’s Facebook page stated. “We want to thank each and everyone of you for all your help and love.”
Allwood’s Facebook post had hundreds of shares and many comments condemning the actions of the bear-napper.
Following the bear’s return the diner also shared a link for people to donate to the Autism Speaks organization.
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