Chemainus Theatre facilities manager Damion Knight at the spot inside the gallery and gift shop where thieves smashed a window and grabbed masks. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Chemainus Theatre facilities manager Damion Knight at the spot inside the gallery and gift shop where thieves smashed a window and grabbed masks. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Unique masks valued at $1,000 stolen from Chemainus Theatre Gallery

Thieves smash a window and grab the goods early Monday morning

Unique masks valued at about $1,000 were stolen from the Chemainus Theatre Gallery and Gift Shop in an early Monday morning smash and grab.

Thieves tossed a rock into a side window and then reached in to grab several masks before fleeing the scene. Security footage put the time of the incident at around 5:15 a.m.

“Just reaching in it wouldn’t trigger off any of the alarms,” said Chemainus Theatre facilities manager Damion Knight.

People who may have seen or heard something around that time at the side of the Chemainus Theatre are asked to contact North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP.

“Among the items stolen are valuable Venetian masks and equally valuable and unique Steampunk masks,” gallery manager Lorna Rivard noted in a Facebook post.

Police attended after getting the call from theatre staff when the theft was discovered later Monday. A forensics investigator from Nanaimo was also on the scene.

“It’s never a good time, but this is the worst time,” said Knight.

The theatre is already reeling from a prolonged closure due to COVID-19, but the gallery and gift shop has at least stayed open.

Knight said besides the product loss, the glass repairs will amount to close to $950.

“The glass is very explosive,” he added. “We basically had glass everywhere – from the till area right to the back wall.”

A nearby cabinet was slightly damaged as well as some jewelry that will need to be repaired.

The RCMP have the theatre’s security footage and are investigating.

“That’s how we got the time,” said Knight.

A car can be seen going up and down the alley beside the theatre.

“It definitely feels like more than one person, but it’s hard to say,” Knight indicated.

Chemainus businessman Ward Yeager, who owns nearby shops and utilizes quality surveillance cameras, also captured some sights and sounds of the incident that has been reviewed for a possible lead on suspects.

“You can hear the glass breaking and see the car going north in the alley,” explained Knight.

The masks are definitely not a common commodity and should be easily identifiable so people are asked to keep an eye out for them in the event the culprits attempt to sell them.

Arts and culturetheft

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Chemainus Theatre facilities manager Damion Knight outside the gallery and gift shop that was targeted by thieves early Monday morning. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Chemainus Theatre facilities manager Damion Knight outside the gallery and gift shop that was targeted by thieves early Monday morning. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Unique masks like this one were stolen from the Chemainus Theatre Gallery and Gift Shop. (Photo submitted)

Unique masks like this one were stolen from the Chemainus Theatre Gallery and Gift Shop. (Photo submitted)

Shattered glass lies around one of the masks that wasn’t stolen from the Chemainus Theatre Gallery and Gift Shop window display. (Photo submitted)

Shattered glass lies around one of the masks that wasn’t stolen from the Chemainus Theatre Gallery and Gift Shop window display. (Photo submitted)

Just Posted

RCMP display some of the fish seized from three suspects who pleaded guilty to violating the Fisheries Act in 2019, in this undated handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - RCMP
3 banned from fishing, holding licences after overfishing violations in Gold River area

Mounties seized the group’s 30-foot fishing vessel and all equipment on board at the time

Volunteers sort through bottles and cans during Saturday's fundraiser for hospice. Photo by Mike Chouinard
Comox Valley hospice holds drive-through bottle drive

Bike team is fundraising for the annual Cycle of Life tour on Vancouver Island

The Village of Cumberland is applying for a UBCM grant to help streamline development application processes. Black Press file photo
Cumberland looks to streamline development

“This looks like the best thing we’ve ever applied for.”

Security camera image of 7-Eleven robbery suspect. Photo supplied.
Late-night Courtenay robbery results in 500-plus days in jail

Heatley’s sentence also includes probation, DNA order, firearms ban

A 3.0-magnitude earthquake occurred off Ucluelet just after 12:30 a.m. on April 10 and was reportedly felt as far south as Oregon. (Map via United States Geological Survey)
Quake off Ucluelet reportedly felt as far south as Oregon

Magnitude 1.5 earthquake also reported off Vancouver Island’s west coast hours earlier

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Premier John Horgan describe vaccine rollout at the legislature, March 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
1,262 more COVID-19 infections in B.C. Friday, 9,574 active cases

Province’s mass vaccination reaches one million people

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

People walk past the Olympic rings in Whistler, B.C., Friday, May 15, 2020. Whistler which is a travel destination for tourists around the world is seeing the effects of travel bans due to COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Adults living, working in Whistler, B.C., eligible for COVID-19 vaccine on Monday

The move comes as the province deals with a rush of COVID-19 and variant cases in the community

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
UPDATE: RCMP investigating after child, 6, dies at motel in Duncan, B.C.

The BC Coroners Service is conducting its own investigation into the circumstances around the child’s death

B.C. Premier John Horgan responds to questions during a postelection news conference in Vancouver, on Sunday, October 25, 2020. British Columbia’s opposition Liberals and Greens acknowledge the COVID-19 pandemic has presented huge challenges for Horgan’s government, but they say Monday’s throne speech must outline a coherent plan for the province’s economic, health, social and environmental future. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Horgan’s NDP to bring in throne speech in B.C., Opposition wants coherent plan

Farnworth said the budget will include details of government investment in communities and infrastructure

FILE - An arena worker removes the net from the ice after the Vancouver Canucks and Calgary Flames NHL hockey game was postponed due to a positive COVID-19 test result, in Vancouver, British Columbia, in this Wednesday, March 31, 2021, file photo. As vaccinations ramp up past a pace of 3 million a day in the U.S, the NHL is in a tougher spot than the other three major North American professional sports leagues because seven of 31 teams are based on Canada. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press via AP, File)
Vancouver Canucks scheduled to practice Sunday, resume games April 16 after COVID outbreak

Canucks outbreak delayed the team’s season by eight games

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod, seen here on April 9, 2021 with four-year-old sister Elena and mom Vanessa, was born with limb differences. The family, including husband/dad Sean McLeod, is looking for a family puppy that also has a limb difference. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
B.C. family looking for puppy with limb difference, just like 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy McLeod born as bilateral amputee, now her family wants to find ‘companion’ puppy for her

Most Read