Jade boulder stolen in B.C. has nothing but sentimental value, says owner

·2 min read

CACHE CREEK, B.C. — The owner of a gift store in British Columbia's southern Interior says no one will benefit if a huge jade boulder stolen from the front of her shop is carved up by thieves.

The nearly 1,300-kilogram slab of jade was taken from the front of the store in Cache Creek on Saturday and owner Heidi Roy suspects the crooks don't know they wasted effort on something that has only sentimental value.

The big rock has been in front of Cariboo Jade and Gifts since Roy bought the store in 1985, and she says while the metre-high slab has become a tourist attraction, it is low-grade and worthless as semi-precious stone.

An older grey and gold Dodge pickup pulling a flat-deck trailer with an orange excavator was captured on surveillance video carrying off the boulder late Saturday, but Roy says RCMP have no firm leads.

High-grade jade can fetch steep prices, but Roy says the excavator the thieves were hauling is worth far more than the rock and anyone spending money to cut the boulder will have wasted their time, while destroying the family memento.

"It's not worth a million dollars," says Roy.

"If we had a million-dollar rock, we wouldn't be working seven days a week."

The boulder is "world-famous," says Roy, because tourists from all parts of the planet have been pictured with it.

She says the loss of the landmark has united the community during a difficult year.

They remember growing up with it, she says, and she's pleading with the thieves to abandon it so it can be returned.

"Everyone else feels violated like we do," she says.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 21, 2020.

The Canadian Press