Community rallies to help 13-year-old 'rock star' in Radisson after gem museum break-in

It seems that Radisson’s Judah Tyreman is a bit of a rising rock star in Saskatchewan’s geological community, and it’s paying off as he tries to rebuild his gem museum and shop.

Cash and gems on the way for Judah Tyreman after thief or thieves make off with loot

Thirteen-year-old Judah Tyreman is getting some help from the Royal Saskatchewan Museum, and a GoFundMe page, after his gem museum in Radisson, Sask., was broken into over the weekend. (Submitted by Chris Tyreman)

It seems that Radisson's Judah Tyreman is a bit of a rising "rock star" in Saskatchewan's geological community, and it's paying off as he tries to rebuild his gem museum and shop after a weekend break-in.

It's crushing that someone would do something like this.- Ryan McKellar, Royal Sask. Museum

Judah, 13, and his sister Avi opened Sesula Mineral and Gem Museum and Rock Shop in 2016 in the small town of Radisson, Sask., about 60 kilometres northwest of Saskatoon.

But Judah told CBC News he knew something was wrong when he showed up to his museum and rock shop on Sunday morning.

Jewelry was strewn on the sidewalk, a clue that someone had taken goods he's painstakingly collected over the past two years.

"I knew that as soon as I saw the jewelry, someone had looted the shop," Judah said, noting one-of-a-kind treasures like green calcite and ocean jasper were among the things taken.

He and his family estimate the thief or thieves stole between $6,000 to $8,000 worth of goods.

Royal rescue 

"It's crushing that someone would do something like this," said Ryan McKellar, a curator with the Royal Saskatchewan Museum.

By Monday, McKellar was receiving questions from the provincial government about whether the museum would be able to help Judah and Avi to recover from the break-in. 

McKellar says they've been taking stock of the museum's inventory to see if there are duplicates that they can send off to Radisson. 

"We've sent Judah …a care package of amber from some of the major world deposits and we are in the process of rounding up some more samples to send his way over the next couple of months," he said.

McKellar said the museum is always working to try to build scientific literacy in the community and that young Judah is a colleague in that effort. It's natural, McKellar said, that his museum would lend a hand to someone dedicated to sharing the joy to be found in gems and rocks. 

Brother and sister Judah and Avi Tyreman have collected a vast rock, gem and mineral collection at their home in Radisson, Sask. Glowing reviews have come in for their museum and rock shop, which showcases the collection. Judah says despite a break-in, they'll keep going with what they're doing. (Submitted by Chris Tyreman)

Donations rolling in 

Judah has already reopened his museum, after vowing to rebuild his collection.

"If I could get the ones that were stolen back, that would be great. If I honestly can't, then I'll just have to get some new ones," he said.

"We're just going to put it back together and make it great again."

In addition to the contribution from the Royal Saskatchewan Museum, a GoFundMe page has been set up and it has already more than reached its set goal of raising $4,000.

With files from the Afternoon Edition