Solid gold, diamond-encrusted eagle statue worth millions stolen in Ladner
Victim suffered minor injuries in the robbery Sunday night
Delta Police are looking into the robbery of an 18-pound, solid-gold, diamond-encrusted statue in Ladner, worth about $5 million according to the statue's owner.
Sgt. Sarah Swallow says the heist occurred "on the street" Sunday night in the 4700 block of 57th Street. The owner, Ron Shore, suffered minor injuries, was treated in hospital and released.
He said the eagle had been on display for four days at the Art! Vancouver exhibit and was in transit when the theft occurred, while it was being loaded onto a vehicle.
"I struggled as hard as I could and yet wasn't able to prevent the robbery," Shore said.
Swallow says police are not releasing any further information at this early stage of the investigation:
"Investigators ... are working with the victims and witness to establish exactly what happened and confirmation of suspect descriptions prior to any further details being released," Swallow said in a statement.
"This is a valuable item that was stolen, so that's something we are going to be looking at very seriously."
The website dedicated to promoting the sale of the statue says it's the largest gold sculpture of its kind ever created and features:
- Head made up of 18 karat white gold and encrusted with 763 diamonds.
- Eyes made of two 1.1 carat matching pear-shaped diamonds.
- Tail feathers are 14 karat white gold.
- Body, rock and base are 14 karat yellow gold.
- Bottom pedestal is 10 karat yellow gold.
The site describes the eagle as standing watch over another of the statue's features: the Atocha Star emerald, which is 12.72 carats.
"It is quite large," Swallow said. "I think if anyone saw it they'd know it's something special so we're asking if anybody hears anything about it or happens to see this statue for sale somewhere that they contact Delta Police."
Eagle created to raise money
Shore, who calls himself the ultimate treasure hunter, originally created the concept of the eagle in 2005 as the theme for his book, The World's Greatest Treasure Hunt: Quest for the Golden Eagle.
His hope was to raise $25 million to go toward breast cancer charities after his sister-in-law died from the disease.
"It's been very difficult over the last couple of hours to come to know that eagle is now gone," Shore said.
Shore eventually sought the help of artist Kevin Peters, and after 4,000 hours of work in Loon Lake, B.C., the Maltese Eagle was finished. Shore has been trying to sell the statue and planned on giving part of the proceeds to charity.
With files from Brenna Rose