$20,000 reward offered for return of stolen silver

The “blockbuster heist” of more than a half ton of silver ingots from a Chilliwack home in February is now being matched by a blockbuster reward of $20,000.

The “blockbuster heist” of more than a half ton of silver ingots from a Chilliwack home in February is now being matched by a blockbuster reward of $20,000.

The owner of the silver, who didn’t want his name used, said he decided to offer the reward since the RCMP investigation hasn’t turned up any “substantial leads” four months after the Feb. 9 home invasion.

The 52-year-old man said the $750,000 in silver bars he kept in a home safe was a “big chunk” of his savings for retirement.

“I’m prepared to offer $20,000 for any information that leads to the arrest and conviction and recovery of the property,” he told The Progress Tuesday.

Meanwhile, the police investigation continues and anyone with information about the dramatic daytime theft is asked to call the Chilliwack RCMP at 604-792-4611 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS.

The victim said he was alone at home when two men wearing blue vests and the gold insignia of RCMP officers “burst through the door” shouting “where’s the woman, where’s the woman” and said they were answering a domestic violence call.

The victim told them they had the wrong house.

But it soon became clear they had the right house for their purposes.

“They definitely knew about (the silver),” the victim said. “They came with the intent of robbing me of the silver bullion.”

He said he was punched in the head and ordered to reveal the location of the safe and the combination to open it.

“One guy was wearing a pistol, and the other guy had a knife,” the victim said. “You don’t play games with those guys.”

“The guy with the gun, the leader of the two, he was very skilled,” he added, and quickly opened the safe that usually took 10-20 minutes to open.

He was then tied up and stuffed in a bedroom closet while the robbers made their getaway, possibly in a white, sedan-type vehicle.

The victim said he kept the bullion at home because, unlike gold, silver takes up a lot of space and no bank safety deposit boxes were big enough to hold it. He has since learned a bank in Toronto would have rented space in its vault.

How the robbers learned about the silver bullion at his home is still a puzzle, he said.

“We’ve been racking our brains trying to figure out who could have been the loose cannon,” he said.

With any luck, the robbers or someone close to them will slip up and blab about their exploits – and that information will get back to police and lead to an arrest.

rfreeman@theprogress.com

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