Urn thefts leave 3 B.C. families feeling 'violated'
The theft this Christmas of an urn containing the cremated remains of a Delta senior's late husband marks the third set of ashes nicked by burglars in the last week.
Carol Lalonde was celebrating Christmas Eve at a family member's house when someone broke into her home 7800-block of 119 Street and stole televisions, jewelry and her late husband Laurence's ashes. He had died just last year.
The remains were stored in an urn shaped like a silver hockey puck and engraved with the word "Babe," Laurence's nickname for his wife.
Carol said she cried when she realized the urn was gone.
"It's an empty feeling to know you've been invaded like that," she told CTV News.
She wants the thief to return the remains, no questions asked.
"I would like them to take him and drop him off at either a police station or at a church. They'll all know what it's about," she said.
Two other Lower Mainland residents who have been victims of similar crimes are also promising amnesty for the thieves if their loved ones' ashes are returned.
On Christmas morning, a group of four masked men used a crowbar to get into Trevis and Lindsay McGuire's Surrey condo. They trashed the place and then made off with a sentimental ring and the remains of Lindsay's father and aunt.
"We feel more violated and emotionally ripped off," Trevis said. "The physical belongings can be replaced, but not the sentimental ones."
Langley resident Russ Moerman said he felt much the same way after his late girlfriend's ashes were taken on Dec. 23, just eight months after she died.
"Having some of her ashes was a way for me to kind of hang on to her and keep her on some level, and she's been taken from me yet again," he said.
Police don't believe that anyone is consciously targeting human remains in the burglaries, but investigators haven't seen a spate of crimes like this before.
"In my 15-year career I've never heard of it to this extent in a short amount of time," Delta Police Const. Ciaran Feenan said.
Anyone with information about any of the thefts is asked to call police.
With a report from CTV British Columbia's Jon Woodward