In 2009, Ron Shore, then an Abbotsford resident, commissioned sculptor Kevin Peters to create a piece called the Golden Eagle, an 18-pound, solid-gold statue with a head of 18 karat white gold encrusted with diamonds.
The eyes were made of matching pear-shaped diamonds, and the eagle stood watch over a 12.72 carat emerald.
The piece, which Shore says is valued at $6 million, is now the subject of a police investigation after it was stolen from him on Sunday evening.
The Delta Police Department says the incident took place at about 10 p.m. on a residential street in Ladner. In a statement to the media, Shore said he had displayed the Golden Eagle for four days at the Art! Vancouver exhibition at the Vancouver Convention Centre and was loading it into a vehicle, accompanied by a “designated security person,” when he was attacked.
“I struggled as hard as I could yet was unable to prevent the robbery,” he said, declining to provide further details.
Other media reports indicate that Shore had been leaving a concert – which he attended after the art show – at a church on 57 Street in Ladner when he was mugged by two men on the way to his car.
Police said Shore suffered some injuries and was treated at hospital.
Speaking with The Abbotsford News on Tuesday, he said he was still traumatized by the incident.
“It’s been very crushing … I’m still at a loss for words,” said Shore, who would not confirm where he is currently living, although he still has a local phone number.
The statue was initially crafted as the theme for Shore’s book The World’s Greatest Treasure Hunt: Quest for the Golden Eagle, which offers clues that lead to 13 certificates in North America and the U.K. Of those, 12 certificates are for silver eagles valued at $20,000 and one for a $1 million golden eagle (different from the one stolen).
He said five of the 12 silver eagles have been located – in Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Phoenix and Houston.
Shore, who said he runs a telecommunications company, wouldn’t divulge what he paid for the Golden Eagle, but said he used an inheritance, mortgaged his house and used all his savings to have it crafted.
He hopes that profits from book sales, as well as donations and corporate sponsorship, will go toward his goal of raising $100 million for his Hunt for the Cause Foundation for breast cancer research.
He started the foundation in memory of his sister-in-law, who died of breast cancer in 2004 two days after giving birth to her daughter.
Shore said, to date, the foundation has raised $20,000.
He said he had hoped to sell the Golden Eagle statue to raise funds to hold benefit concerts in Vancouver, Los Angeles, New York and Toronto.
Police say there were several witnesses to the robbery, and they are reviewing surveillance footage. Anyone with information is asked to call Delta Police at 604-946-4411 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.
– with files from CTV Vancouver