Oakland Museum Thief Makes Off With Valuable Jewelry Box
Police are investigating a recent burglary at the Oakland Museum. It's the second time since November that valuable items have been stolen. This time, the museum is offering a $12,000 reward.
Early Monday morning, a rare and valuable, gold and quartz jewelry box dating back to the Gold Rush was stolen from the Oakland Museum. Director Lori Fogarty says it’s about the size of a shoebox and weighs 3 pounds.
"It was a wedding gift from a California pioneer to his wife," Fogarty said. "And it includes quartz in the ornamentation that hasn’t been mined in California since the 1800s."
The Oakland Police believe the same thief made off with several items--including gold nuggets--from the same exhibit in November. Lt. Oliver Cunningham said investigators are pursuing several leads.
"We’re looking at a single suspect at this time: male black, 5’9’’ to 6 foot, medium complected, short black hair... and he was wearing a white mask which is relatively unique."
In both cases, an unarmed museum guard watched the crime unfold on surveillance cameras and called police, who arrived in minutes. Guards are trained not to intervene with crimes in progress.
"We did take additional security measures after the theft in November," Fogarty said. "We believe some of the measures that we took will actually aid in the investigation this time. And we are enhancing security measures right now... [ranging] from additional cameras, to additional physical protection to additional guard coverage."
The museum has also removed other valuable items from display.