The Creston RCMP is asking the community to provide any leads on the recent theft of martial arts weapons from a private studio.
On the morning of March 2, officers responded to the report that several thousand dollars worth of martial arts equipment and weapons had been stolen. The collection was kept in a large shed on the property, located in the 1600-block of Hillside Street.
“At this point, most investigative avenues have been exhausted,” said Cpl. Evan Diachok of the Creston RCMP. “As such, we are reaching out to the public to ask anyone who may have information about the whereabouts of these weapons and other equipment, to please call us.”
The owner, Neil Ripski, had found the lock cut off that morning with many of the unique and valuable weapons missing.
Ripski had amassed the collection over decades of travelling the world to countries such as Nepal, China, and Taiwan. He works as a Zuì Quán Kung Fu teacher and had plans to open a new studio and share the equipment with his students.
Some of the stolen artifacts include a red jade sword, a purple heart spear, two Adam Hsu swords, a dragon well forge sword, and custom knives. Ripski estimates the collection was worth approximately $28,000. Unfortunately, it was not insured.
“We are a small community and it seems unlikely that weapons such as these would go unnoticed outside of a martial arts studio,” said Cpl. Diachok. “These are not run of the mill items that anyone other than a collector or a martial arts expert, would normally have.”
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Creston RCMP at 250-428-9313 and cite file #2022-570.