Huge jade boulder stolen from Cache Creek gift shop

Iconic jade boulder stolen

"They may have jinxed themselves," says Heidi Roy. "We can only hope and karma will get them in the end."

Roy is the manager of the Cariboo Jade Shop in Cache Creek. Last night, around 11:55 p.m. Dec. 19, a group of thieves made off with the shop's 2,850 lbs. jade boulder, a landmark in the small town.

She's not sure how many were involved, but witnesses saw the group with an excavator on a flatbed trailer pulled by a brown pickup truck.

"It takes more than a couple guys to move it, let’s put it that way," she says.

The group was quick, never unloading the excavator and using it to haul the huge greenstone (3 feet high by 4 feet long by 1 foot thick) up on to the trailer.

"By the looks of it, it looks like they struggled," Roy notes, describing the damage on the shop's front walk that looks like they dropped the stone at one point."

The witness followed them for a while towards Kamloops, calling police along the way. However, their pursuit was ended after an apparent accomplice in a black pickup stopped on the side of the road threw a huge stone at the pursuer's vehicle, cracking the windshield and denting the truck, Roy says.

The truck and trailer were spotted on Deadman-Viddette Road and apparently turned around. Roy thinks they may not have realized they were headed down a dead end.

To move the stone took some pre-planning Roy says, but she isn't sure they did their research. The stone isn't a high-grade piece and has more value to the shop than to anyone else.

"It’s one of those 'how do you put a value on a landmark,'" she says. "To us it’s priceless, it was a part of the store."

The boulder had been in front of the shop since the 80s when Roy's father bought it from Lillooet.

Roy wonders if the show Jade Fever might have influenced the thieves. On the show, boulders can go for $1 million. However, those are high-grade pieces that can be used for jewelry or carving. Broken down, the Cache Creek piece wouldn't be worth much. Additionally, to cut it up properly one needs a diamond-studded saw.

"They’re going to be super disappointed when they try to sell it," Roy says. "It's not something to sell on Kijiji; if they knew anything about jade they would have left it."

Additionally, jade is surrounded by superstitions. To give it brings good luck, but to have or receive a stolen piece is more of a curse. Roy recalls her father getting an unmarked letter some years ago with a piece of jade inside.

"Someone stole the stone from us," she says. "Ever since, they had nothing but bad luck."

The person felt so cursed by the stolen stone they decided to mail it back in hopes of reversing their fortunes.

"They wanted it out of their life," Roy says. "If that was a little piece of jade I hope these people get 100 times that."

She hopes that buyers of large pieces of jade will become aware of the stone's history and avoid it.

With thousands of interactions on social media and interest from local media, Roy hopes the thieves decide to abandon the nearly 3,000-pound green stone.

"Everyone in the province has got their eyes peeled for this thing so it’s going to be hard to move it very far," she says.

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