$2 million in gems, gold stolen from California museum
MARIPOSA, Calif. (AP) -- California investigators are searching for thieves who made off with an estimated $2 million in precious gems and gold from a mining museum in the Sierra Nevada foothills during a brazen daytime robbery.
But they didn't get away with the biggest prize of all -- the nearly 14-pound Fricot Nugget, a giant crystalline gold mass unearthed in the Gold Rush era.
During their attempt to grab the rock on Monday, the robbers triggered an alarm that alerted authorities who swarmed the museum but were unable to nab the thieves.
The California Highway Patrol says at least two robbers wearing hoods and armed with pickaxes threatened workers during the heist Friday at the California Mining and Minerals Museum in Mariposa. The site is home to more than 13,000 artifacts.
No suspects have been identified.