A fifth suspect was arrested this week in connection to a robbery at the California State Mining and Mineral Museum (CSMMM) in Mariposa on September 28, 2012 in which thieves made off with gems and gold worth some $1.3 million from the museum’s vault, forcing it to close for more than a month. The fifth suspect, Michael Anthony Gomes, was arrested on Tuesday, the Merced Sun-Star reports.
According to California Highway Patrol officer Adrian Perez, authorities found several of the objects that were stolen from the museum during a search of Gomes’s home. He will be held in the Mariposa county jail on suspicion of robbery, possession of stolen property, burglary, conspiracy and vandalism. The four other suspects who were arrested pleaded not guilty when they were arraigned in November of last year.
“We’re happy that they’ve been caught, and we hope that the justice system will work,” CSMMM curator Darci Moore told the Sun-Star. “We’re going to just wait and see how the court process unfolds.”
“It doesn’t just hurt the facility, but also the people of California and all the future generations,” she told the Sun-Star. “That’s the kind of thing that these people don’t care about — the value and the history of these special pieces. And we’re offended by that.”
— Benjamin Sutton
(Image via California State Mining and Mineral Museum/Facebook.)