A White Rock woman is asking the public to keep their eyes open for a distinctive handmade urn box that was stolen from the mail depot at People’s Pharmacy in Ocean Park earlier this month.
The blue box, decorated with a painting of a blue bird and flowers, was sent to Francine Bedard – a popular personality and entertainer on the Peninsula – by her siblings in Quebec, who had created and painted the box to hold the ashes of their late father, Roger.
Prior to sending the box over, Bedard’s brother removed the ashes, deciding to deliver the precious cargo in person next month, Bedard said.
However, the cremation urn’s sentimental value has pushed Bedard – who performs as a musician, children’s entertainer and clown under the name Fanny Starchild – to ask for her community’s help.
“My brother is coming to visit for the first time in more than 30 years because my father requested that I get the ashes to spread them where I live and give thanks at a ceremony,” she said. “I’m hoping for a miracle.”
Surrey RCMP Cpl. Bert Paquet told Peace Arch News Friday that police were called to the pharmacy, located at 12851 16 Ave., at 5:30 a.m. on March 15, on a report of suspicious activity. Upon arrival, police saw that the back door was left wide open and a lock on the gate had been cut.
“Further investigation at the scene found that entry had been gained through the roof of the business with some wires cut and other signs of break and enter,” Paquet said.
Investigators have spoken to neighbourhood businesses and residents, but no one has reported hearing or seeing anything overnight, he said.
“We’ve requested surveillance footage of businesses in the area to see if they have any evidence or more details,” he added.
The break and enter is similar to an incident that took place at a pharmacy in White Rock on March 23, 2013.
Through a DNA analysis, White Rock investigators identified a suspect and – due to the similarities in the cases – that person has also become a person of interest for Surrey RCMP, Paquet noted.
“Based on the similar MO (modus operandi) and geographically speaking, the proximity of the two crime scenes, it definitely perked our interest to this particular individual,” he said.
Management for the pharmacy could not be reached for comment.