A $10,000 Jetson Gilbert violin dating back to 1939 was among the cache of stolen items in an Esquimalt apartment suite, uncovered by a pair of tech-savvy tourists determined to retrieve their stolen goods.
Victoria police said the valuable violin belongs to an 80-year-old Duncan woman. It was stolen from her car Aug. 8, after she returned from a seniors centre where she had just played.
The raid in the second-storey suite at 611 Admirals Rd. Wednesday turned up boxes full of credit cards and tupperware containers full of laptops, cellphones, cameras, iPods, e-readers, guitars and three litres of gamma-hydroxybutyric acid (GHB), commonly known as the date-rape drug.
Investigators are cataloguing the evidence and in the process of returning items to their rightful owners.
Victoria police have not released the total of stolen goods recovered.
Four people have been charged with possession of stolen property, break and enter, and breach of probation. The accused are Natasha Day, 26, Nancy Klein, 39, Michael Merrick, 31 and Theodore Turko, 36.
Lacombe, Alta., resident Tanya Huether said about $4,000 worth of items an iPad, laptop, camera lens and camera bag was stolen after the home where she was staying in Saanich was broken into on Aug. 13.
Her tech-savvy brother Steve Huether helped her track the iPad to the Esquimalt apartment using the Find My Friends app. Huether scoured the parking lot and ended up finding her backpack in the car belonging to one of the alleged thieves.
Huether and friend Dale McCreery, who had a backpack stolen with valuable research for his masters degree, are still waiting to have their items returned by VicPD. Both said they are glad their persistence led to the recovery of other peoples valuables.
It's so exciting to know that our bit of work means something so invaluable and irreplaceable can be returned to the owner, said Huether, who is now back in Alberta where she works as a university recruiter. I can't imagine having something like that stolen and how heartsick she must have felt.
The building manager at 611 Admirals Rd. said the man and woman who lived in the suite are being evicted.
Fellow residents told McCreery and Huether that they were relieved at the arrests because they had long suspected the residents were carrying out criminal activity.
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