Bandits Rob California Gold Rush Museum

Make off with $2 million in gold and gems


A daring holdup at the California museum for mining that boasts the largest nugget from the gold rush era netted an estimated $2 million in gold and gems.

The two armed bandits did not make off with the 201-ounce prized possession of the California State Mining and Mineral Museum, but the Friday heist took in several fist-sized nuggets, according to the California Highway Patrol, which is leading the investigation. The thieves walked into the museum, located in Mariposa, and threatened staffers before taking the booty, Park Superintendent Greg Martin said to the Merced Sun-Star.

It was not immediately known exactly how much of the precious stones and minerals were lifted, but museum officials believe it was at least $2 million worth. The sheer size of some of the gold nuggets could make it difficult for the thieves to sell on the black market, officials said.