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

This image shows the Kitsumkalum community hall. The First Nation is about to head to the polls to elect a new council. (Brittany Gervais/Terrace Standard)
All-candidates forum planned for Kitsumkalum election

Virtual meeting set for evening of Feb. 8

Kitselas First Nation received a round of COVID-19 vaccine shots. (Kitselas First Nation image)
Kitselas receives COVID-19 vaccine

Delivery of vaccine was expedited after cluster of cases in community

Northern Health has issued COVID-19 exposure notices for Uplands Elementary School and Centennial Christian School in Terrace. (COVID-19/ CDC Image)
Two more COVID-19 exposure notices issued for schools in Terrace

Exposures took place at Uplands Elementary School and Centennial Christian School

People skate on a lake in a city park in Montreal, Sunday, January 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
The end of hugs: How COVID-19 has changed daily life a year after Canada’s 1st case

Today marks the one year anniversary of COVID-19 landing in Canada

British Columbia Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on as Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry addresses the media during a news conference at the BC Centre of Disease Control in Vancouver B.C. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
B.C. announces 485 new COVID-19 cases, fewest deaths in months

‘The actions we take may seem small, but will have a big impact to stop the virus,” urges Dr. Henry

Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News
Search called off for small plane that went down in rough water south of Victoria

Plane bound for Port Angeles from Alaska believed to have one occupant, an Alaskan pilot

Royal B.C. Museum conservator Megan Doxsey-Whitfield kneels next to a carved stone pillar believed to have significance as a First Nations cultural marker by local Indigenous people. The pillar was discovered on the beach at Dallas Road last summer. Museum curatorial staff have been working with Songhees and Esquimalt Nation representatives to gain a clearer picture of its use. (Photo courtesy Royal BC Museum)
Stone carving found on Victoria beach confirmed Indigenous ritual pillar

Discussion underway with the Esquimalt and Songhees about suitable final home for the artifact

Former Vancouver Giants forward Evander Kane is seen here in Game 7 of the second round of the 2009 WHL playoffs against the Spokane Chiefs (Sam Chan under Wikipedia Commons licence)
Gambling debts revealed in details of bankruptcy filing by hockey star Evander Kane

Sharks left winger and former Vancouver Giants player owes close to $30 million total

Othman “Adam” Hamdan, pictured in front of Christina Lake’s Welcome Centre, was acquitted of terrorism related charges in 2017. He has been living in Christina Lake since November 2020. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
Man acquitted on terrorism charges awaits deportation trial while living in Kootenays

Othman Ayed Hamdan said he wants to lead a normal life while he works on his upcoming book

B.C. Premier John Horgan wears a protective face mask to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 prior to being sworn in by The Honourable Janet Austin, Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia during a virtual swearing in ceremony in Victoria, Thursday, November 26, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Premier Horgan calls jumping COVID vaccine queue ‘un-Canadian’

Horgan says most people in B.C. are doing their best to follow current public health guidelines

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, left, and Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart share a laugh while speaking to the media before sitting down for a meeting at City Hall, in Vancouver, on Friday August 30, 2019. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
Vancouver mayor, Health Canada to formally discuss drug decriminalization

Kennedy Stewart says he’s encouraged by the federal health minister’s commitment to work with the city

Downtown Fernie is pictured after a snowfall.

Most Read