Reno, NV (KRNV & MyNews4.com)-- A valuable and historic mineral worth thousands was stolen from the W.M. Keck Museum inside the Mackay School of Mines, now University Police are investigating.
It was one of the most valuable and historic minerals at the Keck Museum, it was also quite large for a mineral. Interim Administrator for the museum, Daphne LaPointe says the piece of stibnite stolen was about 15 inches long, ten inches thick, eight inches high and weighed about 25 to 30 pounds.
LaPointe said, "The piece was so large we didn't think it would easily walk, but obviously it did."
The large mineral piece is believed to have been taken during regular business hours, LaPointe says it's devastating, "Believe me, everybody who works in this place feels violated and we just feel like, just heartbroken.
The mineral stibnite itself is fairly common, but what makes this piece so valuale is where it was found, the White Caps Mine in Manhattan, Nevada, which has been shut down since the World War ll era. The size of the piece also adds to its value, which is estimated at $30,000, depending on the condition it's in now.
LaPointe says she hopes the piece is still identifiable, but believes it could have been split in two pieces since being stolen, "They can't cut it into too many pieces without it losing its value."
LaPointe says administrators were in the process of getting a bid to find out how much it would cost to install security cameras, unfortunately the crime happened before any were installed. Police are now investigating and Lapointe says it may not be the end of what's vanished from the museum, "We're also taking inventory of a lot of other items that may possibly have disappeared."
Since the museum is open to the public for free, it's difficult to find the additional funding for more security measures, until then many of the more valuable items have been moved to secure vaults.
University Police say administrators believe the mineral was removed on April 8th.
If you know anything about this case you are asked to call Secret Witness at 322-4900, there is a $1,000 reward being offered.