Gold theft reward more than triples

YREKA — Siskiyou County's Board of Supervisors authorized a substantial increase in a reward offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of two men who snatched up more than $1.25 million in gold from the Siskiyou County Courthouse February.

The reward has increased from $15,000 to $50,000.

The theft occurred in the early-morning hours of Feb. 1. Surveillance footage from the courthouse shows two men entering the building through the back, possibly through a window, at 1 a.m. No alarm sounded during the break-in because of a malfunction.

The men broke into a display case and stole a collection of gold nugget samples from nearly every mine in the county, whose history is steeped in gold mining culture. The nuggets had been acquired over time through purchases and donations. The collection was displayed at the 1939 World's Fair in San Francisco.

"We've conducted followups on more than 100 leads involving the gold theft, but we feel it is time to increase the reward in an effort to generate additional leads from the public," said Siskiyou County Sheriff Jon Lopey.

Authorities added they are convinced they will solve the case because of the evidence they have gathered during the investigation, including DNA from the crime scene.

"As soon as one or both suspects are matched in the DNA databank system, they will be arrested once they have been identified," Lopey said.

Anyone with information about the gold theft should call the Siskiyou County Sheriff's Office's 24-hour dispatch at 530-841-2900.

— Ryan Pfeil

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