Is the solid-gold ea­gle statue stolen in B.C. re­ally worth $7.5M?

National Post (Latest Edition) - - CANADA - Dou­glas Quan

A re­cently filed law­suit in B.C. sug­gests that a golden ea­gle statue that was the tar­get of a bizarre heist two years ago was not worth mil­lions of dol­lars as its owner, a one-time wannabe re­al­i­tyTV star, had claimed.

In 2016, Ron­ald Shore made head­lines when he went pub­lic with the story of how he had been the vic­tim of a vi­o­lent at­tack by two masked thieves out­side a Lad­ner, B.C., church. He claimed they made off with a di­a­mond-en­crusted golden ea­gle statue that he said was worth $7.5 mil­lion, as well as a sil­ver ea­gle “de­coy.”

Shore had com­mis­sioned their cre­ation for an in­ter­na­tional trea­sure hunt con­test he had cre­ated to raise money for can­cer re­search. Shore at­tended the church that night be­cause a per­for­mance coach who works with pro ath­letes was giv­ing a talk there and Shore wanted to see if he might be in­ter­ested in buy­ing the statue.

Last month, For­got­ten Trea­sures In­ter­na­tional Inc., the com­pany Shore founded to ad­min­is­ter the trea­sure hunt, filed a law­suit in B.C. Supreme Court against sev­eral in­sur­ers (Lloyd’s Un­der­writ­ers, En­deav­our In­sur­ance Ser­vices Ltd., Hub In­ter­na­tional Canada West ULC, Hub In­ter­na­tional Ltd., and Mark Loewen) for deny­ing a claim he filed af­ter the loss of the two stat­ues. In the law­suit, Shore wrote that the ap­praised value of the golden statue at the time of the theft was $930,450.

Shore did not re­spond to mes­sages Thursday seek­ing clar­i­fi­ca­tion on the dis­crep­ancy in the value of the statue. Reached briefly by phone, Shore’s lawyer, Matthew Cow­per, said he was aware of the dis­crep­ancy but did not pro­vide fur­ther com­ment.

A spokes­woman for Delta Po­lice said Thursday the in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the heist is on­go­ing but had no fur­ther in­for­ma­tion. A po­lice sergeant told the Post in 2016 that in­ves­ti­ga­tors were chal­lenged by a lack of ev­i­dence.

When news of the heist be­came pub­lic in 2016, some ques­tioned whether Shore, who made head­lines over a decade ago for his failed at­tempts to get on the re­al­i­tyTV show The Ap­pren­tice, might be in­volved in the ca­per, ei­ther for pub­lic­ity or to scam in­sur­ers.

But Shore ve­he­mently de­nied the sug­ges­tion at the time, say­ing “it’d be 100 per cent not in my in­ter­est to have (the ea­gle) stolen.”

Ac­cord­ing to the re­cent law­suit, Shore says he in­tended to sell the eightk­ilo­gram solid-gold ea­gle statue in or­der to fi­nance the $1-mil­lion grand prize for the per­son who com­pleted the trea­sure hunt.

The law­suit states that on May 29, 2016, Shore left the church and was re­turn­ing to his car when he was hit on the head and robbed of a back­pack con­tain­ing the two stat­ues. (Shore pre­vi­ously told re­porters that the ea­gles had been kept sep­a­rate).

Shore chased one of the as­sailants, who had got into a truck, and was dragged about 200 me­tres.

Shore is seek­ing $400,000 for the golden ea­gle and $53,750 for the sil­ver ea­gle. The de­fen­dants have not replied to the law­suit and the al­le­ga­tions re­main untested in court.

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