Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Masked robbers steal $2 million in gold

In what sounds like an updated version of an old west heist a $2 million gold heist took place this last week.  It appears two people broke into a California museum stole over $2,000,000 worth of gold and precious gems.  You would think that this type of museum would have some serious security but you would be wrong, as it appears the robbery was done by only two people.

These two will surely need a criminal defense lawyer when it is all said and done, unless they can make it across the border to old Mexico.

Masked Robbers steal $2 million of gold, gems from California mining museum.
By NBC News staff and wire reports

LOS ANGELES -- Robbers wearing masks and goggles broke into a mining museum in California in broad daylight and stole gold and gems valued at up to $2 million, authorities said.
Although no-one has been identified in connection with the burglary, California investigators are searching for at least two suspects.

The masked men broke into the California State Mining and Mineral Museum in Mariposa, California, on Friday afternoon with pickaxes and forced employees into one end of the building, the Los Angeles Times reported, citing a state parks spokesman.

But the thieves didn't get away with the biggest prize of all -- the nearly 14-pound Fricot Nugget, a giant crystalline gold mass unearthed in the California Gold Rush era. The robbers triggered an alarm as they tried to break into the iron safe where it was held.  According to the museum's website, the Fricot Nugget was discovered in the American River in Northern California in 1864 and is the largest intact mass of crystalline gold remaining from the Gold Rush era.

The California State Mining and Mineral Museum is described on its website as offering visitors the chance to explore the variety of the state's mineral wealth and view "breathtaking gems and minerals from around the world."

The California department of parks and recreation issued a statement on Monday saying the museum would be closed "until further notice while repairs are completed."  The statement added that the museum is taking an inventory of the stolen items this week, which will allow it to confirm what was taken and exactly how much the items were worth.  The Los Angeles Times reported that the museum had moved its treasures to an undisclosed location in the meantime.

The burglary was the second theft of this year involving rare, valuable minerals in Northern California. Chunks of gold were stolen from the Siskiyou County courthouse in February.  No suspects have been identified and authorities are investigating whether there is a connection between the two incidents.

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