Burns belongings stolen

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:45 AM ET

MONTREAL – Police say the thief or thieves who broke into Pat Burns' widow's car early Tuesday and nabbed 30 autographed jerseys, family photos and plenty of other goods knew they were stealing the former NHL coach's belongings.

Line Gignac was at a reception room in downtown Montreal when the theft occurred.

Hours earlier, her husband was honoured at a funeral at Mary, Queen of the World Cathedral. Hockey stars, past and present, came out to say goodbye to the three-time NHL Coach of the Year.

NHL stars from around the league had signed the stolen jerseys, which were to be auctioned to raise money for the construction of the Pat Burns arena in Stanstead, Que.

Suitcases filled with Gignac's and Burns' clothes were also stolen, as was an expensive men's watch, jewellery, an iPad and Burns' credit cards. Even the sheets from his bed at a palliative care facility were taken.

“Of course, it’s always frustrating to be robbed,” Pat Burns’ son, Jason, said in a telephone interview with CKAC radio. “It’s not excellent timing, let’s admit it. But we took it just like my father would have taken it — smoothly. We dealt with Montreal police, who have done an excellent job. They looked at the car and we’re searching for the person responsible for this.”

Police are asking the public for information to help solve the crime.

The theft occurred between midnight and 9 a.m., when the silver 2009 Volkswagen Touareg was parked on Notre Dame East, near Saint-Pierre St. in Old Montreal.

Reactions to the theft ranged from anger to disbelief. The hockey world and Burns' fans were shocked that such a crime would occur the same day as the coach's funeral.


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