A beloved cockatoo stolen from a hardware store in regional Victoria on Saturday night has been mysteriously returned to his owners.
'Jacko' the cockatoo was stolen from his cage at Drysdale Home Timber and Hardware store on Murradoc Road in Drysdale, on the Bellarine Peninsula, just before 9pm on Saturday, September 11.
Police believe an unknown offender climbed the front fence of the hardware centre before raiding the cage.
CCTV then captured the alleged offender running away from the store with Jacko almost tucked under his arm.
Police have released the footage in the hope of identifying the offender.
Jacko's distressed carers were handing out 'Missing cockatoo' pamphlets around Drysdale this morning in hope of finding their cherished pet.
The yellow-crested cockatoo has spent 23 of his 15 years at the store and has become a town celebrity.
Nursery manager Katrina Neocli, who looks after Jacko, said staff from the store had been trying to follow up leads to find Jacko all day.
Then at around 2.15pm an unknown person left Jacko in a box near the store.
Ms Neocli said it was a huge shock to find Jacko inside the box.
"I just couldn't believe it was our little man," she said.
"He just said 'Hello'."
Ms Neocli said everyone was "just ecstatic" to have him home.
Police are yet to determine who stole Jacko.
Anyone with information that could assist with the investigation is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 18000 333 000 or submit a confidential report online at www.crimestoppersvic.com.au