January 10, 2014 - 8:25 AM
VICTORIA - A gold pocket watch that once belonged to legendary train-robber Bill Miner was one of eight watches stolen during a short-lived theft at Victoria's Royal British Columbia Museum
Victoria Police say a man and woman face theft-related charges after their arrests at a home in Port Alberni on Vancouver Island, and the watches are now back at the museum
Royal B.C. Museum chief executive officer Jack Lohman says the watches date back to the turn-of-the-century and are extremely valuable to the museum for their historical significance, especially the time piece associated with Miner.
Miner was an American-born career criminal who crossed the border into B.C. in the early 1900s and robbed at least two trains before he was caught and sentenced to 25 years in prison, but he soon after escaped and fled to the States.
Miner's exploits in Western Canada were chronicled in the 1980s movie The Grey Fox.
Victoria Police says the thieves appear to have stolen the watches as a crime of opportunity and likely did not know their historical significance.
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2014