A traditional carved Huxhukw mask is back in the Alert Bay home of Al West after being stolen and recovered last week.

Stolen mask returned in Alert Bay

Private collector surrenders mask, stolen four days earlier in Alert Bay.

ALERT BAY—An Alert Bay man is happy to have a traditional carved mask back in his possession this week after a private collector surrendered the item that was stolen four days earlier.

“What a nice guy,” Al West said of the buyer, who called RCMP after purchasing the mask. “This is the second time this (suspect) did this to me.” The mask was stolen from a shed on West’s property Sept. 19 by a perpetrator West described as “a local youth”.

The private collector voluntarily surrendered the mask to the Alert Bay detachment Wednesday, Sept. 24, said Cst. Andrew Curtis. Later that evening, the suspect was identified and arrested before being released on a Promise to Appear at Port Hardy’s Provincial court Nov. 12.

He faces charges of breaking and entering, theft and public mischief. As the charges have not yet been sworn, the man’s name cannot be released at this time, Curtis said.

The collector who surrendered the mask will not be charged.

“Due to circumstances, they will not be facing any charges of possession of stolen property obtained by crime,” Curtis said.

West said the speedy recovery of the mask was fortunate. “It’s for my potlatch coming up in November.” This potlatch is an important cultural event for the community and West’s family, and the recovery of the carving spared the host considerable difficulty.

The mask depicts the Huxhukw of the Hamatsa dance series. It is a replica of one used by West’s great-grandfather, Charlie George. The original is held by UBC at the Museum of Anthropology.

“The Alert Bay RCMP would like to thank the public and media for their assistance in solving this crime,” Curtis said.

 

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

Just Posted

Telegraph Cove Resort will open June 1 to self-contained campers only

Washrooms, showers and all other amenities will remain closed for now

Hardy Bay Seniors’ Centre doubling down to build community during COVID-19

The volunteer-run group is cooking meals and checking in on isolated seniors

Three weekly direct flights from Port Hardy to Vancouver starting June 1

Direct between Bella Bella and Vancouver not resuming at this time

UPDATE: Local taxi company applying to opertate north island bus route

Waivin’ Flags Taxi wants to operate Route 5 between Cambpell River and Port Hardy

Change in service: Port Hardy is switching from bi-weekly garbage pick up to weekly schedule

The cost for the weekly garbage pick up service is an additional $30.12 annually.

VIDEO: Injured bald eagle rescued in B.C. First Nations community

Bird suspected injured in fight, whisked off to Coquitlam rehab

Toronto Raptors’ Ujiri says conversations about racism can no longer be avoided

Thousands have protested Floyd’s death and repeated police killings of black men across the United States

B.C.’s Central Kootenay region declares state of emergency, issues evacuation orders

The evacuation alert covers all areas except the Cities of Castelgar and Nelson

‘I’m afraid’: Witnesses of wolf attack on senior near Prince Rupert worried about safety

Frank Russ shows where the unprovoked wolf attacked his father

Protesters prepare to rally against racism in front of Vancouver Art Gallery

Rally is in response to the deaths of black Americans and a Toronto woman

Man dies in ATV accident south of Nanaimo

Incident happened on backroad Friday night in Nanaimo Lakes area

Protesters rally against anti-black, Indigenous racism in Toronto

Police estimated the crowd to be between 3,500 and 4,000 and said there was no violence

Feds earmark $1.5M to support recovery of B.C., Indigenous tourism

B.C. money will be split between Vancouver Island and Indigenous tourism

‘We’re sick of it’: Anger over police killings shatters U.S.

Tens of thousands marched to protest the death of George Floyd

Most Read