The Mariposa Mining and Mineral Museum, a unit of California State Parks, was robbed of about $2 million in gold and precious gems by at least two men armed with pickaxes at about 4 p.m. Sept. 28.
The robbers verbally threatened museum staff although there were no injuries. Some of the gold nuggets stolen are the size of a fist, however the thieves were unable to get away with the 14-pound Fricot Nugget. An alarm triggered by the thieves while attempting to remove the large nugget alerted authorities, but they did not arrive in time to capture them.
The collection dates to 1881 when it was first displayed at the San Francisco Ferry Building. In 1983, the collection was moved to the Mariposa Fairgrounds on Highway 49.
Anyone with information regarding the theft are asked to contact the California Highway Patrol Central Division at (209) 356-2900.