VANCOUVER – Vancouver police are say the man alleged to have stolen $500,000 in sterling silver jewelry stolen from a rental car being used by an exhibitor taking part in a jewelry trade show in the city has been identified as Indo-Canadian by witnesses.
According of police, witnesses describe seeing an Indo-Canadian man in his late 20s breaking in to the car and two other men nearby, who could have been accomplices.
A visiting jewelry trade-show exhibitor from Eastern Canada had parked his rental car in the 900-block West Broadway on the evening of Feb. 13 and went to a nearby restaurant for dinner, Vancouver police spokesman Const. Lindsey Houghton told the Province newspaper.
Police say the silver was in several suitcases left in plain view in the parked car. When the exhibitor returned, he found the car had been broken into and the cases, along with a laptop bag, had been stolen.
“He discovered that the car had been broken into and several Samsonite-style suitcases that he had left on the back seat, in plain view, had been stolen,” said Houghton.
Four of the suitcases were black and one red. Combined, they contained about $500,000 worth of the silver pieces — all marked with the wholesaler’s markings “SSK.”
“Anyone or any business that has had suspicious dealings with sterling-silver jewelry with the markings SSK are asked to call investigators,” said Houghton.
The Indo-Canadian suspect is described as about 5’6’’ tall, 180 lbs. and was wearing a grey zip-up hoodie, black hat and black gloves.
The VPD are interested in speaking to two other males believed to be associated.
One has been described as a white adult male and the other either Aboriginal or Asian.
It is unknown whether the jewelry was insured, but the exhibitor is not a suspect, according to police.
Houghton says it is possible the perpetrators knew what they were looking for since the victim exhibited his pieces at a Vancouver trade show for several days before the theft.
“Cars get broken into in Vancouver everyday,” he said. “Do not leave valuables in plain view in your car.”
Anyone with information is asked to call VPD investigators at 604-717-9049 or CrimeStoppers at 1-800-222-8477.