You'd think after the botched Oscar heist two years ago, would-be thieves would have learned their lesson by now.

Unfortunately for Whoopi Goldberg, though, the little golden guy is still a target for kidnapping.

In the last five days, Goldberg's Best Supporting Actress Oscar was stolen and then recovered after being dumped in the garbage.

The whole fiasco started when Goldberg, who has been tapped to host this year's Oscar ceremonies, sent her statuette to the Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to be replated.

According to Goldberg's camp, the Academy sent out the Oscar Goldberg won for 1990's Ghost to the R.S. Owens Company, the Chicago outfit where the statuettes are minted and where Oscars go to be replated and buffed.

"The Academy packed up the Oscar and shipped it on Friday through UPS. But the box was empty when it arrived," says Brad Cafarelli, Goldberg's publicist. "The box got there but there was no statue."

It seems sometime between Friday at 11:25 p.m. and 3:30 a.m. Saturday somebody broke into the UPS container holding the Oscar, swiped it and then resealed the box.

Apparently, the thief panicked upon realizing the statuette had a unique serial number and Goldberg's name engraved on it--making it virtually impossible to fence--and decided to ditch the Oscar. A UPS security guard at the Ontario, California, airport outside Los Angeles recovered the statuette from a trash bin Tuesday morning. (Trash bins seem to be the dumping spot of choice for Oscar theives.)

A spokesman for UPS confirms to E! Online that the Oscar was retrieved, and the company has launched an investigation into the matter, including examining security at its Ontario airport hub.

"At this point there's an internal investigation, but first and foremost we're very apologetic that it happened and glad that it's back with Ms. Goldberg," says the spokesman.

By Tuesday afternoon, UPS had hand-delivered the statuette to the Academy, which said it plans to review its shipping procedures with UPS following the incident.

"We're annoyed," says Academy spokesman John Pavlick. "It's getting ridiculous. We're not sure what we can do about it. There are only so many ways we can ship things, but I don't know if there's anything that could have prevented this particular instance."

The Academy began using UPS after the 2000 mishap, when 55 Oscars were stolen from a Roadway Express delivery truck just days before the Academy Awards ceremony

Eventually, a trash collector stumbled upon 52 of the 55 statuettes stowed in a dumpster. The heist turned out to be an inside job, and three Roadway workers were subsequently convicted and sentenced to various jail terms. The Academy nixed its deal with Roadway and decided to go with UPS as its primary shipper.

No doubt Whoopi will have plenty of material for her monologue come March 24, when she makes her fourth appearance as emcee of the Oscarcast.

Meanwhile, Academy publicist Pavlick says Goldberg's Oscar is currently locked up in a vault at the Academy and officials are just waiting on the actress to come pick it up.

Ironically, it doesn't look like the statuette will ever get that shiny new appearance that led to his brief disappearance.

Says Goldberg in a statement: "Oscar will never leave my house again."

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