HELSINKI, Finland (AP) - Former finance minister Sauli Niinisto might not be the favourite to win next month's Finnish presidential election, but his life-size cardboard figures are proving popular - so much so, that a thief made off with one. A youngish male person swiped the cardboard cutout from outside Cafe Niinisto, the Conservative Party candidate's campaign headquarters in the Finnish capital, Sgt. Juha Rasanen of the Helsinki police said. "A cardboard figure, the same size and a lookalike of Sauli Niinisto, was carted off," Rasanen said Wednesday, adding that police had no other leads on who stole it. Tuesday's theft was reported by Niinisto's campaign office, which valued the cutout at about $415 Cdn. "Actually, it's worth much more. We've had hundreds of offers for them, some as high as Ç1,000 ($1,400 Cdn)," said Janne Pesonen from the campaign office. "This is not a setback for us. On the contrary, it shows how popular the man is." Last month, during the launch of Niinisto's campaign on a boat cruise in the Baltic Sea, the 90 life-size cutouts were especially popular among women who smuggled them into their cabins for the night, Pesonen said. Niinisto, 58, a bachelor who works in the European Central Bank, is one of eight candidates running in the Jan. 15 election. Recent opinion polls have given him 18 to 20 per cent support - neck-and-neck for second spot with Center Party Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen. Incumbent President Tarja Halonen - Finland's first female head of state - is the clear favourite to win, with surveys giving her 52 to 60 per cent support, enough to clinch victory in a first round of voting.