Massive jade boulder back on display at B.C. store after heist
VANCOUVER -- A 3,000-pound Jade boulder that was stolen from a B.C. gift shop last year is now on display again.
The massive mineral is an iconic landmark in the village of Cache Creek, where it sat outside Cariboo Jade & Gifts for decades until thieves with an excavator stole it overnight shortly before last Christmas.
The thieves were caught on camera, and two suspects were identified, but so far, no charges have been laid.
Shortly after the theft, police recovered the thieves' truck and trailer, but not the boulder. It wasn't until after Christmas that someone spotted the stone dumped in a snowy ditch and notified authorities.
With help from another local business, the jade shop recovered the boulder and moved it to a "secure location," according to store manager Heidi Roy.
"At first, we weren't sure we were going to put it back (on display)," Roy told CTV News Vancouver on Friday. "We were sort of tainted by the whole thing and we thought, 'You know, how can we prevent it from being stolen again?' It was concreted in there."
The jade boulder is worth roughly $50,000, according to the RCMP, but Roy says the value of the piece is in its size. The jade itself is too low-quality for jewelry, according to Roy.
"We weren't going to bother putting it back, but so many people have been asking and coming in wanting to see it that we thought, 'Well, how can we do something that's a compromise?'" Roy said.
"That's when we decided to try to put it inside, which was easier said than done because it weighs 3,000 pounds," she added. "We had to have the floor checked out to see if it could hold it and figure out the logistics of moving it, which was quite an ordeal."
The boulder is now back on display at the store, cleaned and polished, but still bearing a few signs of its journey.
"It has some chipping along the side," Roy said. "There's not much you can do to repair that, so people can still see it, but it's kind of like showing the scars of its adventure."