Gold heist hits Granville Street

UPDATE: Police have recovered gold stolen from Douglas Reynolds Gallery in a smash-and-grab earlier this week. Two men have been charged. Police arrested one suspect shortly after the theft and subsequently identified a second suspect. Early Wednesday morning, police searched the second suspect's rooming house and discovered several pieces of the stolen jewelery. Harold Jason Amos, 41, of Vancouver has been charged with armed robbery, disguise with intent, possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose and possession of a firearm contrary to an order and possession of stolen property. Scott Robert Deckert, 51, of Vancouver has been charged with one count of armed robbery.

Almost $100,000 worth of gold carvings were stolen during a smash-and-grab at Reynolds Gallery at 2335 Granville St. near West 8th Monday afternoon.

Police located the suspected getaway vehicle in the area shortly afterwards and arrested a single occupant. The Vancouver Police Department is searching for a second suspect believed to have been involved.

Douglas Reynolds, the gallery's director and owner, was not at the site at the time of the robbery, but hurried over as soon as he heard about the incident.

The culprit smashed the non-shatterproof doors of a shatterproof display case at the front of the gallery shortly after 1 p.m.

Reynolds estimated approximately 30 different gold carvings were taken, most of it Haida. He guessed the total value of the stolen carvings to be under $100,000 retail, although if melted down, would be worth significantly less. More expensive pieces are not kept in the gallery.

“It’s definitely an art loss,” said Reynolds. “You’re buying an original piece of artwork.”

Staff at the Granville Hairdressing Academy next door to the gallery heard the glass case smash but weren’t sure what made the sound.

“We thought our sandwich board had fallen down,” said instructor Alecia Granger.

Police arrived soon after.

“We were wondering why this block would be taped off in the middle of the day,” said student Allison Grey.

Reynolds was shocked a robbery would happen on South Granville in broad daylight.

“Who would ever break-in or even try to rob one of the busiest streets in the city with a great pedestrian walk-by?” he said. “That’s why our jewelry is right out in our front window as well — because it is a safety feature having it in such a visible spot.”

Reynolds opened the gallery in 1995. He remembers three robberies in the first year, but not so much as an alarm in the middle of the night since.

“I guess in hindsight I guess breakable glass is good because it means everyone is safe,” said Reynolds.

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