Decades ago, huge quantities of gold was being pulled from this town, making it one of the richest place in California. But earlier this month, a different incident of obtaining gold nuggets earned the ire of locals.
Two men wearing suspicious clothing and carrying a crowbar apparently went in the Siskiyou Count courthouse through the men’s restroom window. The courthouse is home for the display of California’s most revered collection of gold.
The robbers appeared to have made a hole in the bulletproof glass at 1.00 am through which they have grabbed a million-dollar-worth in gold nuggets. Their stash included a rare 28-ounce specimen from 1913, called ‘the shoe’. They might have escaped several hours before the heist was discovered at seven in the morning.
The robbers got away with 351 ounces out of a 624-ounce set that has a value of USD 3 million for the quality of the specimen.
Residents are undeniably angry for what happened, saying that it would have been more forgivable to rob a bank than stealing a piece of their heritage which cannot be replaced.
Yreka, with a population of only around 7000, is one of the several California mining communities which has proudly kept their golden heritage for public display. This is despite of the USD 1,750/ounce price of gold in the market. In fact, 2 years ago, the county faced a fiscal crisis but they have not even considered selling off their gold collection that was amassed over time and donated by locals.
County sheriff declared the theft as stealing a piece of their region’s history and pledged a USD 15,000 reward for information that may lead to the suspects’ prosecution. The two robbers are described as men in early 20′s wearing black shirts, shoes and blue jeans.
The theft became a subject of suspicion around town mainly because an alarm set on top of the case did not go off. The second alarm, on the sliding glass, is still functioning but it was not moved by the robbers anyway. Townspeople are inclined to believe there has been a terrible inside job.
Gold seems to be the soul of the region. In 1851, a mule packer first discovered the presence of local gold and since then, mines like King Solomon, Golden Eagle and Black Bear have thrived.
Most of the communities that belong to Mother Lode are understandably proud of their heritage so they want to display their collections for people to see. However, doing that comes with loads of risks that they have to be aware of.
The county treasurer said that they can use the insurance claim in upgrading the museum but this act does not seem enough to console the residents.