It’s possibly the strangest news story to come out of Metro Vancouver in recent memory… the theft of a multi-million dollar solid gold, jewel encrusted eagle statue, now the subject of a $10,000 reward.
18 lbs, covered with 762 karats of diamonds, and inset with a large emerald recovered from a shipwreck, the theft of the so-called “Maltese Eagle” has raised plenty of eyebrows, partly because so much of the story is shrouded in mystery.
To try and get to the bottom of it, we got the eagle’s owner Ron Shore on the phone.
LISTEN: One on one with Ron Shore, owner of the stolen “Maltese Eagle.”
Well, it turns out he denies that was the case.
“That is not true.”
“It was being transported back to an area for safekeeping, but not to my house.”
And was there a decoy? Yes there was… Shore says both were stolen. But were they together, and if so, why?
Shore won’t say… other than that they weren’t in the same backpack.
“For security reasons I can’t get into that.”
“Now look, this isn’t the first time I’ve transported the eagle. The people that I’ve talked to an discussed different secuirty protocols have ranged from everything from the San Fransico police department, New York police department, the FBI, the RCMP, numerous municipal police departments. What my security protocols are what they are. I take what I do form what the police forces suggest.”
Breast cancer research
Shore says the eagle was created as a part of a plan to raise money for breast cancer research in the memory of his sister in law.
“The sale of the Eagle, the money from the sale of that eagle was going to create a breast cancer benefit concert.”
He says that project would cost about $1.5 million, and raise several million more for charity.
But he says the eagle itself is worth about $7.5 million.
More questions than answers
So can Shore understand why people are having a hard time with all of this?
“I fully understand.”
“It’s a high profile thing, and I don’t expect everybody to understand, or to understand how hard I was hit, or that I suffered from a concussion, or that I was dragged down the street by a vehicle.”
But he says his number one priority is recovering the eagle, and until then, people’s questions will have to wait.
“And then all of the other questions can be answered, whether it’s issues about all of the other questions other people have. I can assure you 100% I had nothing to do with it. It’s not a publicity stunt as some people have suggested, and the security protocols were in place and did a very effective job until this last time.”