CA Gold Rush Museum Robbed of $2M in Gold, Gems

By Andrew Lu on October 03, 2012 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Two million dollars worth of gems and gold were stolen from the California Mining and Minerals Museum during a daytime robbery, reports The Associated Press.

While the execution of the robbery may have been "brazen," it's not entirely clear how well thought out the robbery was.

That's because despite making off with about $2 million worth of gems, it's not clear how the robbers will turn those gems into cold hard cash. And the chances are that the most daring part of the robbery will come when the robbers try to convert the stolen goods for cash as police will be on the lookout for the rare and precious stones and metals.

Two robbers wearing hoods and armed with pickaxes stormed the museum commemorating California's gold rush last week and threatened workers during the heist, reports the AP. The robbers apparently engaged in a smash-and-grab by breaking display cases and stealing the contents. When the robbers tried to steal a 14-pound gold nugget, they set off an alarm and made their getaway. The robbers did not get the gold nugget, but they were able to avoid the cops.

Now, here comes the hard part. The authorities say that several of the stolen items are unique, which would make it difficult for the robbers to sell them. And with national news agencies reporting on the museum robbery, pawn shops and other dealers will be on the lookout for these precious gems and metals. And it's unlikely that a neighborhood bank or Walmart would accept payment in a 19th century gold nugget.

When the museum robbers are caught, they face six years in jail for felony armed robbery. The robbers may have been better off stealing the cash from the museum gift shop. Now they are loaded up with unique gems and metals that will likely lead to their capture.

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