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$3 million in gold nuggets stolen from Northern California courthouse

YREKA — Investigators in a far Northern California town sought leads Thursday in the theft of large chunks of gold from the county courthouse's $3 million historical collection, as residents lamented the loss of an important piece of their cultural heritage.

Thieves smashed a lobby display case and stole the gold from the Siskiyou County Courthouse in Yreka, the site of an 1851 Gold Rush known as the second Mother Lode.

Surveillance footage shows two men broke into the courthouse around 1 a.m. Wednesday, said Allison Giannini, a spokeswoman for the Siskiyou County Sheriff's Office.

In addition to searching for the suspects, investigators were trying to figure out how the thieves broke the display case's supposedly unbreakable glass and why no alarm alerted authorities to the heist, Giannini said.

The total collection was worth $3 million, officials said. The county was still taking inventory to determine how much of the gold had actually been stolen.


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