#BringRustyBack: Knight heist sees store owners seeking return of prized armour

For the past two years, a four-foot-tall suit of armour stood watch outside One Princess’ doors. But when the shop’s co-owner let down her guard, the knight was whisked off into an awaiting getaway car.

Police called after a thief snatched a store’s decorative suit of armour and hustled it into an awaiting car

'Rusty' the suit-of-armour has stood at the doors of One Princess for the past two years. On Tuesday it was stolen in broad daylight. (Submitted: Patricia Gallagher)

For the past two years, a four foot tall suit of armour stood watch outside One Princess' doors. But when the shop's co-owner let down her guard, the knight was whisked off into an awaiting getaway car.

The knight, nicknamed Rusty, was bought 30 years ago by Patricia Gallagher's partner, Denise Dow. At first, it was a focal point of their home, but in recent years they placed it next to the entrance of their store. Until it was stolen in broad daylight Tuesday afternoon.

Patricia Gallagher's partner Denise bought 'Rusty' 30 years ago. Gallagher was busy with customers when the theft occurred. (Matthew Bingley/CBC)

Gallagher said she was busy with customers, when a FedEx driver came into the store with bad news.

"He said he almost got run over by somebody running with Rusty under his arm" said Gallagher.

The thief she was told jumped into a grey vehicle, which sped off down Water Street and up King Street all while weaving in and out of traffic. The police she said were currently reviewing surveillance tape to try and find more information. 

"It was totally pre-orchestrated, which I think is the part that I'm really struggling with," said Gallagher.

A reward is being offered by the store for the armour's return, but they would rather the thieves simply brought the armour back without police involvement. (Submitted: Patricia Gallagher)
She said she was devastated about the theft and regrets not tethering the knight, which she said the thief obviously noticed beforehand.

"It makes me feel slightly violated that somebody's already cased the joint" she said.

On Wednesday afternoon, Gallagher's friend, Lisa Gribbons stopped by the store to offer moral support.

"I just think it's really crappy that somebody came and took Rusty" she said.

Gribbons said she hoped the attention garnered on social media will lead to the successful retrieval of the armour.   

Across the road, souvenir vendor Dan Roberts said he had his eyes on Rusty for most of the day. But with three cruise ships in port on Tuesday, Roberts was also distracted.

'It was gone'

"I turn my head to take pictures of the cruise ship and turned around and it was gone," said Roberts, "right like that."

Roberts said to pull off a theft like that, while surrounded by tourists was pretty impressive.

But on the theft itself, Roberts had another opinion: "It's kind of low" he said.

Dan Roberts operates a souvenir stand across from Gallagher's store. He said he turned his head for a moment to take a photo and missed the heist completely. (Matthew Bingley/CBC)

Gallagher said she hopes whoever stole her knight will simply return it, with no questions asked. One thing she fears above never seeing the armour again, is the attention will lead to the thief simply dumping it to avoid getting caught.

"I would hope that the folks who stole him would realize that there is impact to what you're doing," Gallagher said. "It does seem insignificant, but it has impacted a whole family and we're sad about it."

About the Author

Matthew Bingley


Matthew Bingley is a CBC reporter based in Saint John.