Eight antique pocket-watches were stolen from the Royal BC Museum and sold for drugs. Two Port Alberni residents face theft over $5

Eight antique pocket-watches were stolen from the Royal BC Museum and sold for drugs. Two Port Alberni residents face theft over $5

Alberni pair arrested in Royal BC Museum heist

Two Alberni residents face theft charges after eight rare pocket watches were stolen from the Royal BC Museum in Victoria and sold for drugs

Two Port Alberni residents face theft charges after eight rare pocket watches were stolen from the Royal BC Museum in Victoria and sold for drugs.

Port Alberni RCMP arrested the pair on Jan. 7 at a Kendall Avenue residence.

Brian Gerald Holt, 44, and his girlfriend Stacy Croft, 29, have each been charged with theft over $5,000.

Holt remains in custody and Croft was released on a promise to appear.

Holt is known to Victoria Police, Const. Mike Russell said. Croft is not.

The incident occurred on Jan. 3 in Victoria when museum security staff reported the theft of eight historical pocket watches from a display cabinet to Victoria Police.

Security staff remembered seeing two people acting suspiciously near the display the day before, and subsequently provided detailed information to police.

Investigators examined the cabinet the watches were stolen from and successfully lifted fingerprints. The prints were cross-referenced with suspects in a police database and two days later police got a match. “Once we got that hit it was game on and we were on their trail,” Russell said.

Victoria police tracked Holt and Croft to Port Alberni, where local RCMP traced them to the Kendall Avenue residence and arrested them.

The watches weren’t found at the residence but members of the Victoria PD crime reduction unit were tipped that the items were still in Victoria, and officers were able to recover them.

“They were originally sold in exchange for drugs and exchanged hands a couple more times afterward,” Russell said.

Police identified two other people of interest, “but they’re not facing charges,” Russell said.

The owners of some of the watches are as interesting as the age of them.

One, cataloged at ‘RBCM 963.27.1’, belonged to Bill Miner, BC’s last train robber. Miner robbed trains in 1904. The watch may have been left behind in the BC Pen after Miner escaped from there in 1907, a museum fact sheet noted.

Another – ‘RBCM 999.78.17’ – was owned by John Williams Spencer of the David Spencer department store chain and is dated 1900.

And – ‘RBCM 2002.51.1’-  was owned by Captain James Gaudin, Captain of HBC sailing barque Lady Lampson, which travelled between London and Victoria in the 1870’s.





Just Posted

The Co-op gas station at Whiskey Creek is burning after a camper van burst into flames just before 4 p.m. on Thursday, June 17, 2021. (FACEBOOK PHOTO)
Exploding camper van torches Highway 4 gas station between Qualicum Beach and Port Alberni

Highway traffic blocked after Whiskey Creek gas station erupts into flames

Kids from a MOSS Sailing Camp sail just off Canal Waterfront Park in Alberni Inlet during a day camp in August 2014. (AV NEWS FILE PHOTO)
MOSS Sailing camps return to Alberni Valley

One-week camps designed for kids will take place at Sproat Lake

Robert Gunn of Alberni Climate Action loads garbage discovered in the Alberni Inlet around Cous Creek into his canoe during a recent ocean shoreline cleanup. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)
Alberni Climate Action group creates NIC scholarship

Students attending college full time may apply through NIC

Two ambulances and a medevac helicopter are on scene at Taylor River Flats rest area on Highway 4 due to a serious motor vehicle incident. (PHOTO COURTESY MAGGIE BROWN)
Highway 4 reopens after accident at Taylor River Flats

Multi-vehicle crash had closed highway to west coast

The Rollin Art Centre is holding children’s art camps this summer. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)
ARTS AROUND: Celebrate art in the garden

Rollin Art Centre will host art event on Saturday, June 26

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

Helen Austin performing with Trent Freeman at the 2018 Vancouver Island MusicFest. Austin is one of the many performers listed for the 2021 event.
Vancouver Island MusicFest goes virtual for 2021

Black Press to stream 25 hours of programming July 9-11

Greater father involvement in the home leads to improved childhood development and increased marital satisfaction, says expert. (Black Press Media file photo)
Vancouver Island researcher finds lack of father involvement a drag on gender equality

Working women still taking on most child and household duties in Canada: UVic professor

FILE – A science class at L.A. Matheson Secondary in Surrey, B.C. on March 12, 2021. (Lauren Collins/Surrey Now Leader)
Teachers’ union wants more COVID transmission data as B.C. prepares for back-to-school

BCTF says that details will be important as province works on plan for September

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry outlines B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan, May 25, 2021, including larger gatherings and a possible easing of mandatory masks on July 1. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. records 120 new COVID-19 cases, second vaccines accelerating

Lower Pfizer deliveries for early July, Moderna shipments up

A Heffley Creek peacock caught not one - but two - lifts on a logging truck this month. (Photo submitted)
Heffley Creek-area peacock hops logging trucks in search of love

Peacock hitched two lifts in the past month

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The Calgary skyline is seen on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
2 deaths from COVID-19 Delta variant in Alberta, 1 patient was fully immunized

Kerry Williamson with Alberta Health Services says the patients likely acquired the virus in the hospital

The first suspension bridge is the tallest in Canada, with a second suspension bridge just below it. The two are connected by a trail that’s just over 1 km. (Claire Palmer photo)
PHOTOS: The highest suspension bridges in Canada just opened in B.C.

The Skybridge in Golden allows visitors to take in views standing at 130 and 80 metres

Most Read