CLIFTON — A giant bear that celebrated autism was returned safe and sound to its home at a North Jersey diner, the victim of a "bearnapping."

"Teddy" the teddy bear was seen on video being taken from the lobby of the Allwood Diner in Clifton on Monday. The owners of the diner posted surveillance video of the theft in hopes of shaming the thieves into realizing the error of their ways.

The video showed a young man sheepishly entering the diner and then, moments later, racing out the door and to a waiting car that takes off after he and the bear are inside.

The owners' plan worked, according to a new post on the diner's Facebook page.

Some Allwood customers noticed a video on Instagram of the theft filmed from inside the getaway car.

"It was clear they were having much fun 'bearnapping' our mascot and were even more proud to post their accomplishment. Thankfully all the attention in social media as well as the coverage from all the news channels helped us incredibly in getting him back. To him it was just a stuffed bear, but he quickly realized what this bear meant to Allwood Diner and the Clifton community," read the Facebook post.

The post did not disclose details of how Teddy was returned or whether or not the diner will press charges.

Many customers dropped off smaller bears to help replace Teddy and to show their support.

"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. We want to thank each and everyone of you for all your help and love," read the diner's post.

The diner linked to Autism Speaks and invited customers to make a financial donation.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ.

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