The University Record, September 16, 1998

Stolen meteorite recovered

Department of Public Safety (DPS) officers have recovered a meteorite reported stolen from the Exhibit Museum Aug. 1. The 60-pound meteorite was on display at the museum and disappeared after visitors and staff there had noticed a man acting suspiciously. Museum staff reported the missing meteorite to DPS and were able to furnish a description of the individual who had attracted attention by his actions. Matt Linke, program associate at the museum, also posted a notice on the Internet on several bulletin boards frequented by geologists.

On Aug. 18, a dealer in Ithaca, N.Y., called the University and reported that he had just purchased a meteorite fitting the description Linke posted. Looking at a photograph of the meteorite the dealer posted online, museum staff were able to identify the meteorite as the one that had disappeared from the museum. DPS officers recovered cash, a check, a large piece of amethyst and other geological specimens that the dealer said he had given for the meteorite, and officers were able to return them to him in exchange for the return of the meteorite.

Because of the interstate aspect of the theft and subsequent sale of stolen goods in another state, the FBI is working with DPS officers to develop more information about the case, which is still pending. No arrests have been made in connection with the theft.


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