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VPD makes appeal for return of stolen indigenous ceremonial items

Vancouver Police today released a photo of a man suspected of stealing Indigenous regalia and drums in Vancouver earlier this month, and are appealing to the thief or anyone who knows the whereabouts of the stolen items to return them.

“The true value of this ceremonial clothing and drums is not monetary – it’s priceless in terms of the cultural significance to the people of the Lake Babine Nation,” says Sergeant Aaron Roed, VPD. “Our investigators have been working diligently on this case but have been unable to locate the items. We believe that someone knows where these items are. We just want them returned.”

On January 15, a van belonging to the Lake Babine Nation was parked in a parking lot near West Pender and Richards streets. Someone broke into the van overnight and stole nine pieces of Indigenous regalia, five drums, and traditional boots, which are used during cultural ceremonial presentations.

The male suspect is described as having a medium build. He was wearing a dark camouflage, hooded sweatshirt under a black puffy vest, and dark pants. He would have been pulling two dark grey suitcases containing the stolen items. The suspect left on a bus travelling east on West Hastings Street.

“Since the theft, two items have been turned in to the Carnegie Centre,” adds Roed. “The remaining items can be dropped off in any public place like a community centre or our community policing centres, so they can be returned to the Lake Babine Nation”

Anyone with information is asked to call the non-emergency police line at 604-717-3321 or Crime Stoppers anonymously as 1-800-222-8477.