A flurry of residential break-and-enters in North Delta over the last couple of months have police on the hunt for the perpetrators believed responsible for all of them.
And now investigators have an extremely unique item to help zero in on them.
The perpetrators – police believe there is more than one – took a 200-year-old scroll in the middle of the day from a home in the 6500 block of Sunwood Drive on Aug. 12.
It's just only one of three break-and-enters believed to be committed by the same perpetrators over the past two months.
The suspects gain entry through a rear basement window, first by popping off the screen, then by entering through the window. The thieves then go about ransacking the home.
In the Aug. 12 break-in, the suspects were calm and deliberate, taking only smaller items that could be carried out without looking suspicious, according to Delta Police Const. Ciaran Feenan.
And they took their time, ransacking every room before the owner got home.
Feenan said that may mean the perpetrators cased the property and its occupants beforehand, knowing ahead of time how much time they had.
Usually, the thieves take non-descript items such as electronics, Feenan said.
But this time, they took a Japanese "Kakejiku," a wall hanging scroll believed to be more than 200 years old.
When rolled out, it is 6' tall and just over two-feet wide, with wood on the top and bottom. It is made of thick Japanese paper and features an oil paint image of a landscape scene with a man looking up at a mountain. Japanese characters can be seen on the bottom left corner in red ink.
Police are asking the public to be aware of any suspicious activity around their homes, as these perpetrators may be watching for patterns of activity during the day.
They are also reminding people to close and secure their windows and doors with a reliable deadbolt lock.
Investigators are asking anyone who may have information regarding the whereabouts of the “Kakejiku” wall hanging scroll to call Delta Police at 604-946-4411 or Metro Vancouver Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.