Painting of Full House's Joey stolen from restaurant, returned in trash bag

Big Al's Burgers and Dogs has an attribute unique in Fort Collins and, probably, on planet Earth -- a series of paintings that pay tribute to characters from the iconic '80s/'90s sitcom Full House. So you can imagine the heartbreak when someone stole the portrait depicting Joey Gladstone, portrayed by the brilliant Dave Coulier. But fortunately, this shocking tale has a happy ending. On Tuesday, Big Al's posted the following message on its Facebook page:

Help bring "Joey" home !! On Saturday night around 2:30 am a young man stole artwork from Big Als. He stole "Joey " from Full House by local artist Andrew Hembd. If you have any information on this please contact Fort Collins PD, Officer Nick Rogers 970-416-2944 or to remain anonymous call Crime Stoppers 970-221-6868. Help us bring Joey home!

The Fort Collins Coloradoan reported about the theft, which was actually observed by employees; they saw a young man staffers reportedly recognized grab the Joey likeness and sprint down the block.

A staffer interviewed in a Coloradoan video describes the crime as "confusing and wrong."

Now, fortunately, the Coloradoan has good news to report -- although the details are strange and/or modestly insulting.

Yesterday, employees received an anonymous call that the Joey painting had been left by a church, like a foundling child -- except that it was encased in a black garbage bag.

Is the thief suggesting that Joey is trashy? How dare he! But the painting has been recovered. The house is full again.

Send your story tips to the author, Michael Roberts.

More from our Colorado Crimes archive circa February 27: "Photos: $50K reward for Trash-Talking Bandits after biggest recent Colorado bank robbery."

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