A one foot thick wide boulder of jade weighing 2,850 pounds is pictured in front of the Cariboo Jade Shop in May 2020. It was stolen on the night of Dec. 19, and police are looking for leads. (Photo credit: Barbara Roden)

A one foot thick wide boulder of jade weighing 2,850 pounds is pictured in front of the Cariboo Jade Shop in May 2020. It was stolen on the night of Dec. 19, and police are looking for leads. (Photo credit: Barbara Roden)

VIDEO: Man recalls chase after 2,800-pound jade boulder stolen from Cache Creek store

The boulder, which is a foot thick and weighs 2,850 pounds, was stolen on the night of Dec. 19

Police are looking for any leads after an iconic piece of southern Cariboo history was stolen over the weekend. The final moments of the theft were witnessed by an Ashcroft man, who tells of a dramatic chase that turned dangerous.

At around 11:55 p.m. on Saturday (Dec. 19) thieves made away with a jade boulder, representing B.C.’s official gemstone, that has stood outside the Cariboo Jade Shop in Cache Creek for more than 30 years. It was last seen on a flat-deck trailer being towed by a Dodge pickup truck.

The man and a friend were returning from Kamloops, and saw the pickup and flat-deck — which had an orange excavator on it — parked parallel to the Jade Shop on Todd Road. As they approached the intersection of highways 1 and 97 a man jumped off the trailer and got in the pickup truck, then drove through the intersection.

The Ashcroft man, who does not want to be named, says that as it drove past them, headed east on Highway 1 toward Kamloops, they saw that the massive jade boulder — which is a foot thick and weighs 2,850 pounds — was on the flat-deck in front of the excavator.

At first they did not believe what they had seen, and the pair drove through the intersection and past the Jade Shop to confirm that the boulder was gone. They then turned around and began following the pickup and flat-deck as it travelled east.

“As we left town I called 911,” says the resident, who was not driving the vehicle. “We had got out to the Perry Ranch when a black SUV went flying past us and past the truck and trailer. I was on the phone with the RCMP, and when we got to the Christian Ranch the dispatcher said, ‘stop following them, it’s too dangerous, you don’t know if they’re armed.’”

But as the pair were leaving, someone ran into the middle of the road and threw a boulder at them, which hit the roof and the windshield.

“At that point the black SUV passed us going east. We returned home because it was too dangerous, especially after the rock got thrown. The guy was trying to hurt us.”

They were unable to get licence plate numbers, as the plates on both vehicles were either covered in mud or missing.

The Cariboo Jade Shop is a family-run business that was established in 1967. Heidi Roy, whose family has owned the shop since 1985, says that the thieves do not appear to have been very bright.

Roy says that tips are flooding in and the police are working through them. She’s also seen a lot of online speculation about the value of the boulder.

“I’ve seen estimates that it’s worth $2.5 million. If I had a $2.5 million rock on my doorstep I wouldn’t be going to work every day; I’d sell it and retire.

“If the thieves are paying attention to the media, they’ll know its only value is as a showpiece on the steps of the shop. People are speculating that it will bed cut into smaller pieces because it’s such a recognizable rock, but it’s low grade to start with, and in small pieces it’s worth even less. The excavator used to steal it is worth more than the rock, and it would be much easier to sell the excavator.”

But what the rock does hold, is sentimental value: The rock was put in place by her father, former Cache Creek mayor Ben Roy, after the family bought the business in 1985.

“The mines for jade are so remote and inaccessible that most people don’t see it in its raw form; they just see it in finished form as jewellery or carvings. In the scheme of things it’s a small boulder, but it’s impressive.”

Roy hopes that the rock’s fame might help bring it back home.

“Anyone who sees it will say, ‘isn’t that the rock from Cache Creek?’ If the thieves are listening, I’d tell them, ‘you made a mistake.’ Their best bet is to drop it somewhere where someone will find it and recognize it.”

Security camera video and photographs showing the pickup truck and trailer can be viewed on the Cariboo Jade & Gifts Facebook page. Anyone with any information, who was in the area at the time, or has dash-cam video is asked to contact Ashcroft RCMP at 250-453-2216.

If you wish to remain anonymous, contact Crime Stoppers.



editorial@accjournal.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Cache Creek

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Fraser Health staff prepare for the reopening of Irene Thomas Hospice in Delta on April 15, 2021. (Fraser Health photo)
Delta hospice at centre of MAiD fight to reopen Thursday

Fraser Health will reopen all 10 beds at the facility on April 15

Surrey-raised Tetsuro Shigematsu wrote and stars in “1 Hour Photo,” a Vancouver Asian Canadian Theatre’s production to be presented online by Surrey Civic Theatres on April 23-24. (submitted photo/Raymond Shum)
‘This Japanese kid who grew up in Whalley’ thrilled to return with acclaimed ‘1 Hour Photo’

City’s Digital Stage to show Tetsuro Shigematsu’s solo portrait of Mas Yamamoto

Commercial trucks head south towards the Pacific Highway border crossing Wednesday (April 14, 2021). The union representing Canadian border officers wants its members to be included on the frontline priority list for the COVID-19 vaccine. (Aaron Hinks photo)
CBSA officers’ union calls for vaccine priority in B.C.

Border officers at ports including South Surrey’s Pacific Highway should ‘not be left behind’

Fish processing workers fillet farm-raised salmon in Surrey B.C. Photo courtesy BCSFA
Discovery Islands salmon farm removal impacts jobs in B.C.’s Lower Mainland: report

The City of Surrey is the hub of the salmon farming industry in Metro Vancouver

Surrey School District building. (File photo)
‘We’re in a financial lockdown’: Surrey school district working with $40M budget deficit

District, board points to lack of immigration for new student enrolment

Demonstrators at the legislature on April 14 called on the province to decriminalize drug possession and provide widespread access to regulated safe supply across B.C. (Jake Romphf/News Staff)
Rally calls for decriminalization, safe supply on 5th anniversary of overdose emergency declaration

From 2016 to the end of February, 7,072 British Columbians died due to overdose

(Government of Canada)
Liberal MP caught stark naked during House of Commons video conference

William Amos, in Quebec, appeared on the screens of his fellow members of Parliament completely naked

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, Feb. 1, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count jumps to 1,168 Wednesday, nearly 400 in hospital

Now 120 coronavirus patients in intensive care, six more deaths

Moss covered branches are seen in the Avatar Old Growth Forest near Port Renfrew on Vancouver Island, B.C. Thursday, Sept. 29, 2011. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. blockades aimed at protecting old-growth forests reveal First Nation split

Two Pacheedaht chiefs say they’re ‘concerned about the increasing polarization over forestry activities’ in the territory

Richmond RCMP Chief Superintendent Will Ng said, in March, the force received a stand-out number of seven reports of incidents that appeared to have “racial undertones.” (Phil McLachlan/Capital News)
‘Racially motivated’ incidents on the rise in B.C’s 4th largest city: police

Three incidents in Richmond are currently being invested as hate crimes, says RCMP Chief Superintendent Will Ng

A still from the video taken of a violent arrest on May 30, 2020 in downtown Kelowna. (File)
Kelowna Mountie charged with assault for caught-on-camera violent arrest

Const. Siggy Pietrzak was filmed punching a suspected impaired driver at least 10 times during an arrest

A screenshot from a Nuu-chah-nulth healing song and performance created in collaboration between Hjalmer Wenstob and Timmy Masso. (Screenshot from YouTube)
VIDEO: Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation brothers produce COVID-19 healing song

Hjalmer Wenstob and Timmy Masso share dance and inspiration.

Health Canada headquarters in Ottawa. (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press)
Health Canada releases guidelines for reducing COVID-19 transmission at home

Improve indoor air quality by opening up your windows and doors, among the encouraged ventilation measures

Most Read