Vancouver police are renewing a public appeal for information and have released a picture of a suspect they believe is responsible for the theft earlier this month of culturally significant Indigenous ceremonial regalia.
Nine items, including five drums, clothing and traditional boots worn during ceremonial presentations disappeared when the Lake Babine First Nation’s van was broken into in downtown Vancouver on Jan. 15, police said Tuesday.
The group had come to the city to take part in a conference. One of its members was clearing snow from the van parked in a lot near West Pender and Richards streets when a broken window was discovered.
“The true value of [the regalia] is not monetary — it’s priceless in terms of the cultural significance to the people of the Lake Babine Nation,” Sgt. Aaron Roed said. “We just want them returned.”
Police have released security camera images of the suspect with two dark grey or silver rolling suitcases catching an eastbound bus at West Hastings and Homer streets on the night in question.
Roed said the suspect got off the bus near Main Street, close to the Carnegie Community Centre where someone returned two of the stolen items.
“We’re going to do what we can to get them back to [the Lake Babine Nation].”
Anyone with information is asked to call Vancouver police at 604-717-3321.