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'We feel really violated': Newlyweds say thieves stole priceless family heirlooms

Honeymooners had all their wedding gifts stolen from their car while on an afternoon bike ride in Vancouver's Stanley Park.

A celebratory road trip turned into a nightmare for newlyweds and their close friends who were recently travelling through Vancouver. 

Mac Whalen and Kaitlen Harnadek celebrated their wedding on Aug. 19 in Calgary and embarked on a road trip with friends to Vancouver before heading to California.

On Sunday, the group arrived early for check-in at their Vancouver accommodation and decided to go on an afternoon bike ride in Stanley Park. When they returned to their car, the windows were smashed and their belongings were missing. 

The thieves stole all of their "nice clothes, watches, wedding jewellery, family jewellery that we wore at the wedding, all of our wedding gifts (we didn’t get to the bank yet to deposit the gifts), laptops, [and] cameras," Whalen tells Vancouver Is Awesome. 

The newlywed adds that the family jewellery items held tremendous sentimental value and "aren't really replaceable." A couple of the stolen items were his grandfather's cuff links — which he wore with his wedding suit — and his grandmother's locket. 

The bride's cousin, Amanda Almeida, launched a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for the devastated couple. She writes that "this trip, to celebrate the marriage of Kaitlin and Mac, has been turned upside down."

"We were shocked at how many people said it’s a normal thing that happens in Vancouver," Whalen said, adding that the experience has tainted the city for the newlyweds and some of their friends. 

"I think as a group we feel really violated."

Photo via GoFundMe


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