$2.45m in gems, gold stolen from US museum
MARIPOSA, California (AP) - California investigators searched yesterday for thieves who made off with an estimated US$2 million (S$2.45 million) in precious gems and gold from a Central Valley museum during a brazen daytime robbery.
But they didn't get away with the biggest prize of all - the nearly 14-pound (6.35kg) Fricot Nugget, a giant crystalline gold mass unearthed in the Gold Rush era.
During their attempt to grab the rock, the robbers triggered an alarm that alerted authorities who swarmed the museum but were unable to nab the thieves.
At least two robbers wearing hoods and armed with pickaxes threatened workers during the heist last Friday at the California Mining and Minerals Museum in Mariposa, the California Highway Patrol said. Authorities said the unique pieces taken would be easily identified, which could make it difficult for the robbers to sell them.