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

Just Posted

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

Holger Schwichtenberg and his son Philip talk in the barn of the 150-acre Schwichtenberg farm. This farm is one of many throughout B.C. that support more than 12,500 jobs across the province in the dairy industry. (Contributed Photo/B.C. Dairy Association)
Agassiz dairy farm a model of care for environment, animals, and family

Farm is part of a dairy sector centred in the Fraser Valley, supporting 12,500 jobs province-wide

Kalyn Head, seen here on June 4, 2021, will be running 100 kilometres for her “birthday marathon” fundraiser on July 23. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Woman’s 100-km birthday marathon from Chilliwack to Abbotsford will benefit Special Olympics B.C.

Kalyn Head hopes run raises awareness, advocates for inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities

The Great Gordini puts on a magic show for an avid audience during the first Storytime in the Park in this 2019 photo. (Grace Kennedy/The Observer)
Storytime in the Park returns this summer

Day 1 registration is on June 30

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

(file)
Pedestrian hit by police vehicle in Langley

Injuries described as serious, requiring surgery

Barbara Violo, pharmacist and owner of The Junction Chemist Pharmacy, draws up a dose behind vials of both Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines on the counter, in Toronto, Friday, June 18, 2021. An independent vaccine tracker website founded by a University of Saskatchewan student says just over 20 per cent of eligible Canadians — those 12 years old and above — are now fully vaccinated. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
At least 20% of eligible Canadians fully vaccinated, 75% with one dose: data

Earlier projections for reopening at this milestone didn’t include Delta variant

This undated file photo provided by Ernie Carswell & Partners shows the home featured in the opening and closing scenes of The Brady Bunch in Los Angeles. Do you know the occupation of Mike Brady, the father in this show about a blended family? (Anthony Barcelo/Ernie Carswell & Partners via AP, File)
QUIZ: A celebration of dad on Father’s Day

How much do you know about famous fathers?

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed teen facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The George Road wildfire near Lytton, B.C., has grown to 250 hectares. (BC Wildfire Service)
B.C. drone sighting halts helicopters fighting 250 hectares of wildfire

‘If a drone collides with firefighting aircraft the consequences could be deadly,’ says BC Wildfire Service

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

NACI recommends an mRNA vaccine for all Canadians receiving a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

Most Read