The Seattle Times reports a 69-year-old West Seattle man led investigators to the pole. Police say he apparently had a crew with a crane help move the totem, but it's unclear if the crew knew the man didn't have permission to take the landmark.
The totem pole was noticed missing last week. The Rotary Club of West Seattle donated the pole to the city in 1976 and estimates it would have cost about $75,000 to replace.
At the request of Seattle investigators, authorities in Oregon went to an address provided by the 69-year-old man and found the pole on a boat trailer in a Salem-area parking lot.
Seattle police spokesman Mark Jamieson says the pole appears to be undamaged, and detectives are putting together a case to send to the prosecutor's office.