Burglars recently targeted the George Street office of a late physician and celebrated humanitarian, and the doctor’s family is asking the public to help them find the stolen possessions.
Some of the stolen items are museum-quality collectibles, including antique medical instruments, an extensive fossil collection and Victorian-era teacups.
Dr. Hassan Amjad practiced internal medicine and was a pioneer in southern West Virginia for treatment of opioid addiction. Patients of the late doctor credited his use of Suboxone, counseling and community support with saving their lives and families.
On Aug. 26, the late doctor’s daughter Dr. Ayne Amjad and his wife Lolita discovered that Hassan Amjad’s personal items were stolen from his George Street office, where someone had apparently broken a window to enter.
An alarm system in the building had not sounded, Ayne said.
She added that she learned of the burglary when someone called her around 1:15 p.m. on Aug. 26.
“My mother and I ran to the building where my father gave his herbal lectures and collected his antiques, medical equipment, books and numerous other items that were used during his lectures over the last several years,” Ayne said. “The building that contained so many things that my father collected, for over 30 years, not only had sentimental value but were museum-quality pieces that were difficult to find.”
Hassan Amjad, a native of Pakistan, authored several books on tea and herbs. He discovered a white tea plant in North America and was the founder of the state’s only tea festival in Oak Hill, where he also kept an office and practiced medicine.
His herbal lectures were free to the public and so were his lectures and tea tastings during the annual Tea Festival in Oak Hill.
A well-known humanitarian, Hassan Amjad was researching the impact of exposure to the carcinogen polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB) on human health in Minden, a contaminated Oak Hill community, in 2017. He had begun conducting a cancer survey of past and present Minden residents to assist them in gaining federal help. He died unexpectedly at age 70 on Aug. 29, 2017 — two days after his 70th birthday and prior to completion of the project, prompting Ayne Amjad to continue the survey after his death.
Members of his family are still healing from his death. They were approaching the anniversary of Hassan Amjad’s birthday and death when they learned that a burglar had gone into his office and stolen pieces from his collections, between the dates of Aug. 19 and Aug. 26, Ayne Amjad said.
“If anyone has any information, we would appreciate your help,” she said.
According to her, stolen items include over 200 empty glass medicine bottles that are used in pharmacy. They are blue, amber and clear and some have medicine labels. Some canisters with medicine names were also stolen; large, Chinese-style vases for flowers; large pots; blue and white porcelain teacups from the Victorian era; carved, wooden, antique room dividers; antique medical instruments (some rusted) such as blood pressure cuffs and tools from the 1930s to the 1950s, made from solid steel, copper and real glass; silver-plated trays, cups, serving spoons, forks, spoons and whole sets of serving spoons in boxes; Native American art, including figurines, statues, carvings and masks; carved, wooden, signature masks; porcelain figurines; and large apothecary glasses and jars.
She added that dozens of fossils collected by a late family friend, Bob Pyle, were also stolen. Pyle had collected all the pieces from around the country. Some of the fossils are rare, large, one-piece items of plants and trilobites, Ayne Amjad reported.
Raleigh County Sheriff Scott Van Meter said Thursday that his office is investigating the burglary.
Van Meter urged anyone with information on the stolen items to call his office at 304-255-9300 or Crime Stoppers at 304-255-STOP.