As mysteriously as it went, the 12-foot metal gate stolen from a Saanich farm earlier in the week found its way home on Saturday morning.
On Monday (Jan. 18), Muddy Valley Farm owner Bill Harding contacted the Saanich Police Department to report that the large farm gate, that had protected the barnyard animals for some 25 years, had been stolen.
At some point between midnight and 6 a.m., the heavy gate, made of metal tubes, was taken from the farm in the 4700-block of Interurban Road. Harding said it was his daughter who first noticed the gate was missing on Monday morning. The family took to Facebook to announce the theft – explaining that the locks and chains had been cut and the gate was lifted right off its hinges – and asked the community to be on the lookout.
Less than a week later, on Jan. 23, the farm gate reappeared.
“My wife went out to feed the animals” on Saturday morning and checked to see if the gate was back, as she had done every day since it was taken, Harding said. When she spotted it, “she thought she was seeing double” because there was the missing gate, leaning against the replacement gate they’d put up in the driveway.
The lockbox that once hung in the middle was gone, but Harding said it was “for sure” their gate, familiar scratches and all.
According to the family’s updated Facebook post, the well-traveled gate is “keeping mum about its recent adventures.”
The situation was strange, but could have been much more serious had the farm’s animals been in that field at the time and wandered onto the road, Harding noted.
The family isn’t sure where the gate has been or who returned it, but they’re pleased to have it back.
“We’re really happy that whoever it was had a change of heart” and decided to return to the scene and give the gate back, Harding said.
He noted that the gate will be reinstalled and secured with chains and bike locks to prevent any future thefts. Anyone else in the area with a large metal farm gate is advised to do the same, Harding said.
All is well once more at Muddy Valley Farm.