An estimated 10 ounces of gold nuggets were stolen from the San Francisco Wells Fargo museum. Authorities said the thieves drove a Chevy Suburban SUV through the museum’s glass front doors. They then held a security guard at gunpoint while they raided the museum’s gold nugget display case. According to reports, the three masked suspects fled the scene in a second vehicle.
New York Times reports that the gold nuggets stolen from the San Francisco museum are worth less than $10,000. However, they hold great sentimental value for the Wells Fargo bank. According to reports, the gold nuggets were discovered during the 19th century gold rush, when Wells Fargo was first founded.
Although the monetary value of the gold was not significant, it will cost more than $200,000 to repair the building’s entrance. Thankfully, nobody was physically harmed during the robbery.
In an official statement, a Wells Fargo spokesman confirmed that repairs are currently being made and “the museum will reopen so it can continue to serve the thousands of visitors and Bay Area residents who visit it each year.”
Local authorities confirmed that this is the third “smash-and-grab” style robbery in the last three months.
In November, thieves drove a vehicle through the front window of the Union Square Chanel boutique. Authorities said two suspects stole numerous designer handbags before fleeing the scene.
Last week, a U-Haul van was driven through the front entrance of a Patagonia store at the Fisherman’s Warf. Authorities said the thieves fled the scene with several designer coats, which have an estimated value of $700 each.
Although the thieves used similar methods, San Francisco police spokeswoman Grace Gatpandan said “it does not appear that [the robberies] were related.”
As reported by Lake Placid News, the thieves will likely have a hard time selling the gold nuggets. As they were stolen from a well-known San Francisco museum, the rare metal community will be on the lookout for the nuggets.
Officials said the gold nuggets are marked. Therefore their historical significance will be easy to spot — unless they are melted down.
In addition to losing its historical value, the melted gold would sell for far less on the open market. Geologist Fred Holabird said the robbery is “such bad news” for the museum and the community.
Authorities have not identified the suspects who stole the gold nuggets from the San Francisco museum. However, they are grateful nobody was harmed during the robbery.