Thursday, February 2, 2012

$3 Million in GOLD Stolen from California Courthouse

The most pivotal component to OPSEC is keeping as few people as possible from discovering you own phyzz.  In today's economy, publicly broadcasting you own vast amounts of precious metals makes you a target- even if the phyzz is stored inside a courthouse.

An estimated $3 million in historic gold nuggets were stolen from a display at the Siskiyou County Courthouse in Yreka early this morning.

The Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office said two individuals can be seen on surveillance cameras inside the courthouse around 1 a.m. this morning, Feb. 1.
The two men, who appear to be caucasian, entered the courthouse through the back, according to Sheriff’s spokesperson Allison Giannini. The men also entered two other rooms inside the courthouse, Giannini said.
The crime was first reported to the Yreka Police Department just after 7 a.m.
Only the large nuggets were taken. All the smaller pieces of gold were left behind,  the Sheriff’s Office reported. The estimated value of the gold comes from Siskiyou County Treasurer Wayne Hammar. The total value of what was taken is still being determined, said Giannini.
As of this morning, gold prices are at $1,744 an ounce.
All the gold found in the display was found in Siskiyou County, where thousands of gold-seeking forty-niners settled in the 1800s to make their fortunes, said Claudia East, vice president of the Siskiyou County Museum Board and secretary of the Yreka Committee for Historic Preservation.
The gold is owned by the county of Siskiyou and was accumulated a little at a time by members of the Board of Supervisors through purchases and donations, East said. One of the most valuable items in the display is a gold nugget discovered by a miner in a pile of discarded shavings near Hawkinsville, just a few miles north of Yreka. Also in the collection is the “shoe nugget” found near the Scott River in 1913 and purchased by the City of Yreka for $550.
The Sheriff’s Office did not specify if these two nuggets were among those taken.
While gold prices have shot through the roof in the past years, Mount Shasta jeweler Jon Thomas said gold nuggets often sell for more than their weight because of their historic value and character.
This is not the first time the collection has been the focus of thieves, East said. In 1979 two people entered the courthouse through a bathroom window and smashed the display, setting off a silent alarm. The police arrived and apprehended the two after a short chase down a nearby street about a block away.
This morning, the foyer of the courthouse, where the gold display case is situated directly adjacent to the metal detector, is completely closed off while the investigation takes place.
Read more: