After Amarjit Singh Sidhu, 74, was struck and killed by a vehicle late last month, his friends and family set up a roadside memorial near the crash site.
Every day since, Sidhu’s loved ones have placed candles and fresh flowers beneath a framed photo of him as a way to help them grieve his death.
Last week, they were devastated to discover the entire memorial had been taken.
“It just doesn’t make sense that somebody could be so cruel,” said Lovey Bring, Sidhu’s granddaughter.
The family has since replaced all the items, but they are worried it could happen again.
Bring found out about the incident on Wednesday morning, after she received a call from her uncle, who had visited the site – located near the crosswalk on Blueridge Drive and Summit Drive, across from Harry Sayers elementary.
“I was in tears. I couldn’t believe someone would do that. It’s so disrespectful to my family. It’s so disrespectful to my grandfather.”
Bring called city hall and confirmed that staff do not dismantle roadside memorials. Later, a neighbour visited her aunt’s home and said she had witnessed two men in a black Dodge pickup pull up to the memorial on Tuesday night and remove all the items.
The family has not been able to confirm who was responsible.
They replaced the flowers and Sidhu’s photo immediately, and have vowed to keep the memorial going. They urge the thieves to honour the tribute.
“Let us grieve the way we want to,” Bring said.
Sidhu was struck and killed by a Safari van while walking at about 6:30 a.m. on March 27. He was en route to pick up two of his grandchildren living not far from him, and take them to the bus stop to wait for their ride to school.
Bring said her grandfather was known to always use crosswalks, although police have not yet confirmed whether Sidhu was doing so at the time he was hit.
The police investigation continues and it is not yet know whether charges will be laid against the driver of the van that struck him.
Sidhu was mourned by more than 1,000 people at his memorial service on April 1 at Abbotsford Arts Centre for his devotion to the Indo-Canadian community. He was an executive member of the Khalsa Diwan Society and volunteered for hours every day at the society’s temple on South Fraser Way.