NANOOSE BAY, B.C. – The theft of a unique velociraptor on Vancouver Island threatened to wipe out the species, but Jurassic justice prevailed and the ripped-off raptor has been returned.

Oceanside RCMP Cpl. Jesse Foreman says an off-duty officer spotted the metal sculpture of the velociraptor in the middle of a vacant lot north of Nanaimo, B.C., on Sunday.

The menacing model disappeared in mid-March from the front lawn of its creator’s home in Nanoose Bay, about 25 kilometres outside Nanaimo.

Police believe the original thieves decided to foist the faux fossil because notoriety surrounding the theft prevented them from displaying the 30-kilogram sculpture or selling it for scrap.

Foreman says the owner is overjoyed to welcome the vagabond velociraptor home.

In the meantime, the search for the Cretaceous crooks who copped the creature continues. (CKAY)