LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — An alien abduction in the tiny town of Rachel, Nevada, was solved this weekend.

This time, it was actually an alien that was abducted.

Facebook posts by the operators of the famous Little A’Le’Inn and the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office provided few details of the incident, but the small statue taken from inside the inn has been returned.

Connie West, part-owner of the Little A’Le’Inn, said Monday that the statue is “in police custody.” She explained that it’s being held as evidence.

It’s not the first time an alien has been held by the government in a remote desert area. But that story has already been told.

The Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office (LCSO) posted surveillance photos from the incident on its Facebook page, along with a message that said, “Thanks to a tip from a concerned citizen, LCSO was able to recover the alien statue that was stolen from the Little A’Le’Inn. The suspect was issued a citation for larceny and the item will be returned to the owner. Have a great day!”

West said the perpetrators were “a group of stupid middle-aged men” who came through town on their motorcycles. They were from California, she said. The statue went missing at about noon on Thursday.

An employee at the inn said, “They were a biker group that was having fun. Thought the alien could go on a little trip, but then they got busted.”

Someone spotted the statue as the bikers rode through Panaca on Sunday morning, according to West. Panaca is about 100 miles east of Rachel. Apparently, the bikers had taken it as far as Zion National Park.

The Little A’Le’Inn has embraced the publicity surrounding Area 51, and Rachel was the center of attention during a 2019 “Storm Area 51” event that morphed into “Alienstock” and another competing music festival. Reports in 2022 indicated a movie titled “Rachel Nevada” is being produced for Paramount by a production company owned by Ryan Reynolds.

The alien statue that was taken from the Little A’Le’Inn in Rachel, Nevada. (Courtesy, Connie West)

There is a statue of an alien outside the inn, and initial reports made people think that statue had been stolen. But it was a smaller white statue inside the inn that was taken. The likeness is described as “a gray” by alien lore aficionados. The statue was a gift West described as irreplaceable. She demanded an apology, and she got one.

“I do have an apology from them that’s on video from when they were escorted in,” West said.

“He has a lot of history,” West said of the statue.

It was a gift from Bob and Pat Sheehan, who owned the Groom Mine on land that was inside the borders of Area 51. They were forced off the property in the 1980s and the U.S. Air Force set up a guard shack on the road the Sheehans built to access the mine.

“He works really great for Toys for Tots,” West said. The statue helps attract attention to the toy drive year-round.

Comments on Facebook applauded the sheriff’s office for getting the statue returned. “This is the kind of breaking news a small place should have,” one commenter said. A call to the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office for more information was not returned.