Edmonton

Edmonton family searching for stolen one-of-a-kind canoe

An Edmonton family is asking for help after a treasured family heirloom was brazenly stolen from outside their home.

'You can’t go out to MEC and go and purchase a boat like that,' boat owner says

The handmade canoe was stolen from the roof of the family Volkswagen. Here, both are pictured on a canoe trip to Kananaskis in 2010. (Kurt Mueller)

An Edmonton family is asking for help after a treasured family heirloom was brazenly stolen from just outside their home.

Kurt Mueller and his wife returned to their Allendale home following a canoe trip in late August. As the couple went to walk their dogs that evening, their canoe was right where they left it, lashed securely to the top of their Volkswagen van next to their house.

Their boat:  A hand-made, 16-foot, cedar-strip canoe built by Mueller's father 12 years ago.

"It (took) months to build," Mueller said. "You can't go out to MEC and go and purchase a boat like that. They're custom hand-crafted."

It was also the last boat his aging father ever made.

"My parents are in their 80s now and it just seems like every time we take it out, it's like I'm bringing them with me," Mueller said.

But when Mueller woke up at 7 a.m. the following day, it was gone.

"I had a look out the window and I could see the blue straps on the boulevard. It took me a while to realize that it was gone."

Weeks later, Mueller's family is still searching for the missing boat. They've put up posters around the city and taken to social media, Kijiji and local paddling clubs in the hopes that someone will recognize the boat's distinctive cedar stripping.

"You don't see very many of them around any more," Mueller said.

Edmonton police are also helping with the hunt and have told Mueller the boat's distinctive patterning may help them track it down.

So far, Mueller says he's received loads of calls and emails from friends, neighbours and strangers, but has no real lead on the whereabouts of the canoe.

One neighbour has even offered to loan Mueller's family his own canoe while they wait for theirs to make it back.

"There's a lot of good people out there and they're looking for us, they're helping us out."

The one person Mueller hasn't told about the stolen boat yet is his dad.

"I'm hoping it will come back to us … I'll probably have to tell him eventually."

Kurt Mueller is doing everything he can to recover the sixteen-foot cedar canoe made by his father that was stolen from just outside of his house in August. 4:33

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