ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A popular special shape hot air balloon that was stolen early Thursday morning has been found. A group of men who are part of the crew for the three bumblebee balloons noticed the baby bee “Joelly Bee” was missing. The crew said the balloon was stolen at 1:30 a.m. from the Townplace Suites Hotel by the Albuquerque International Sunport.

They say the bee was in a green double-door trailer that was being pulled by a red Chevy truck. The pilot, Michael Glen, had driven his truck and trailer back to the hotel with the baby bee inside. When Glen came out for the pilot briefing in the morning, the truck and trailer were gone. The balloon, named “Joelly,” completed the “Little Bees Trio” in 2010.


Story continues below:


Albuquerque police were able to find the balloon and truck Thursday morning. They say detectives found the location of an iPad that was thrown out of the window and visited the location of a known car thief nearby. “Officers made contact with the trailer and discovered that the envelope and other pieces of the balloon were, in fact, inside the trailer,” APD Chief Harold Medina said. Police say the truck was also found near Unser in northwest Albuquerque.

APD says no one is in custody for the theft, and they have not connected the repeat car offender with the crime. Police say they are still working on leads.