A Surrey mother and father already dealing with the death of their adult son are facing another loss: a thief has taken a big part of what their son left behind.

Bjorn and Cindy Storness-Bliss are well-known in Cloverdale for their garden display of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

But on Easter Sunday, five items from their collection were stolen.

"A guy came up here. He picked up a dwarf," Bjorn told CTV News Vancouver.

A witness told Cindy and Bjorn two men were seen loading them one by one into a parked minivan Sunday morning.

The same witness scared off the thieves before they could take the heaviest item, Snow White.

"This is something that is so precious to us" Bjorn said.

That's because their empty garden now renews the devastating loss of their son, Nicholas, who died last year from an accidental drug overdose at the age of 26.

"He was just a great kid and we miss him so much," Bjorn said.

Nicholas was an accomplished soccer player, playing for Surrey Guildford and Surrey United soccer clubs.

The couple says Nicholas loved the garden display growing up and that the tiny dwarf statues always bring up happy memories of their son.

"Anything he was a part of brings us joy and brings us memories," Cindy said. "I know the dwarfs are just an item – they are materialistic – but it's what they bring out in our hearts."

The dwarfs were stolen once before last year and later returned. Cindy and Bjorn are hoping for the same outcome this time.

"This is a big one for me and I'd really love if they were returned because they mean so much for us," Cindy said.

Surrey RCMP is investigating the incident.