Cremains Thieves Believed to Have Mistaken Urn for Whisky
Skip to main content

Sign up for the brand-new Whiskey Raiders Bottle of the Month Club!


More to Enjoy

  • Tequila Raiders
  • Rum Raiders
  • Gin Raiders

‘We Think the Intruders Thought it Was an Expensive Bottle of Whisky’: Family Devastated After Urn Holding Their Mother’s Ashes Stolen in Theft Mix-Up


This file photo shows urns on display at the Aurora Casket Co. Inc., in Aurora, Indiana, Feb. 13, 2006. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

Two siblings have been left without the ashes of their mother after mixed-up thieves appear to have stolen the cremains after mistaking the urn for a bottle of whisky.

Stephen Burgess, 37, evacuated his residence in Paisley, Scotland, after a fire broke out at a neighboring property. On Jan. 20, while Burgess was staying with a friend after evacuating, his apartment was allegedly broken into, according to the Daily Express.

The mother, Isobel, died at 56 in July 2021.

“My mum’s ashes were sitting on Stephen’s living room shelf, it was like a shrine to her and there were photos of her everywhere,” Isobel’s other son, Gari, said, according to the Daily Express. “The urn had stars and a moon on it, and we think the intruders thought it was an expensive bottle of whisky because the box was shaped like a bottle tube and had a special design.”

Other items were stolen from Burgess’ apartment, as well. To make matters worse, Gari told the Daily Express that Burgess will have to move to a new property since the fire “burnt out many of the flats” at the complex.

“We are absolutely heartbroken,” Gari said. “Our mum was everything to us and this just feels like we are re-living the nightmare of having her taken from us all over again.”

Scottish police are investigating the break-in.

Here at Whiskey Raiders, we do more than write about current events in whiskey. We are the only media property reviewing whiskies and aggregating the scores and reviews of other significant voices in the whiskey world in one place. If you’re interested in getting a shot of whiskey in your morning email, sign up for our Daily Dram Gram

This post may contain affiliate links, so we may earn a small commission when you make a purchase through links on our site. This helps support Whiskey Raiders at no additional cost to you.

Filed Under:

Follow Whiskey Raiders:

David Morrow is the Editor In Chief of Whiskey Raiders and has been with the company since September 2021. David has worked in journalism since 2015 and has had bylines at Sports Illustrated, Def Pen, the Des Moines Register and the Quad City Times. David holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communication from Saint Louis University and a Master of Science in Journalism from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. When he’s not tasting the newest exciting whiskey releases, David enjoys spending time with his wife and dog, watching sports and traveling.