Statue stolen from Royal Oak Burial Park over long weekend

A bronze statue of an angel was stolen from Royal Oak Burial Park over the Easter long weekend, leaving staff upset at the loss.

The five-foot-tall statue, last seen April 1, was at the entrance to the mausoleum.

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“It’s shocking, it really is,” said burial park executive director Crystabelle Fobler. “It’s a burial park. Where are you stealing from?

“We’d really like the statue back.”

Fobler said she doesn’t know how much the statue weighs. “Our grounds manager didn’t know exactly how heavy it was but it was on a several-hundred-pound granite base to hold it up.”

She said the statue had been in place for at least 20 years.

Fobler said little is known about its history.

“Nobody here, unfortunately, remembers or knows anything about it — its origins, anyway.”

Nothing like this has ever happened on the property before, Fobler said.

“We’ve been really lucky,” she said. “Mind you, we do have security, we do have the park monitored, we do have security cameras, things like that.”

Fobler said she is hopeful the statue will be left somewhere and spotted by a member of the public.

But the statue might have been taken by people looking to make money from the bronze, she said.

Saanich police Const. Markus Anastasiades said police have also considered that possibility.

“We don’t know the motive, but we can suspect it has something to do with metal recycling,” he said. Recycling facilities have been notified.

Anastasiades said a lot of damage was done to the statue’s granite base to get it loose. He said the fasteners holding it to the base were either broken or cut.

“We really don’t know what happened after that, where they took it.”

One possibility is that it was carried along an adjacent pathway next to the Patricia Bay Highway, he said.

“At this point, we don’t know if the people came in on foot or by vehicle,” Anastasiades said. “We’re still investigating, and we’re hoping that someone comes forward.”

The statue could certainly catch someone’s eye, he said.

“It’s pretty unique.”

Fobler urged people to call police with any information. Call Saanich police at 250-475-4321 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).

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