Seattle police say the store owner arrived at work Sunday and noticed two men loading a 60-centimetre-tall sculpture called "Bronco Buster" into their pickup.
He praised the men for their taste, then walked inside and commended a clerk for selling the $2,500 statue.
The only problem: the clerk hadn't sold any statues that morning.
The shop owner ran outside in time to jot down a British Columbia licence plate number.
He gave that to police, who located surveillance photos of the suspects and statue and relayed that information to authorities at the Canadian border.
Now Seattle officers are working with Royal Canadian Mounted Police on the case.