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ALERT!! Thieves walk among us

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Hello all Members,

I am sorry but I do have bad news to start the New Year.

I just received the email below from Dr. Carl Agee from the University of NewMexico, in Albuquerque.

A 9490grams Sikhote-Alin was stolen from their museum right around Christmas time.

Please look at the picture on my site: http://www.impactika.com/sa-9490.jpg And feel free to copy it and send it around.

Please do inform any forums and sites you may be aware of, and that might be able to help.

And please keep an eye out for it during the Tucson Show, it could be offered for sale there.

Thank you very much for your help.

Anne M. Black



Vice-President of IMCA


Dear Anne,

One of our museum display specimens was stolen out of its case -- most likely just before Christmas break, during opening hours. The case has a security alarm, but apparently the theft was not recorded as an alarm by UNM police. I discovered the that specimen was missing this morning when I was doing an inspection of the Meteorite Museum. The specimen is a "Sikhote Alin" weighing 9490 grams. I would like to alert the meteorite collector community to be on the look-out for this specimen, it is unique and easily identifiable as our property. Thanks,


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Holy Cow! 20#'s Really!!! How do you walk out of a museum with a 20# stone without being noticed. Sounds like an inside job. Hope they get it back so we all can enjoy it.

Aloha and stay safe.

Stan aka Kaimi

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Hey Johnno, you gonna make the Pamona gpaa show?

G'Day Bucket

At the moment I don't know if I'm Artha or Martha. I'm hoping I'm Artha. I've had my sights set on the Tucson show for 3 years running now and I'm pushing to get there this year. And I think the Pomona show is a week before it. If things change, I will let you know if I've abandoned the quest to Tucson and decided to go to Pomona.



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Pomona is closer to me so I'm gonna shoot for that, but I know what you mean...things can always change on a dime.

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Thanks everyone for looking at this. Karma is great

On Thu, Jan 5, 2012 at 10:57 PM, Carl Agee <agee@unm.edu> wrote:

> Incredibly, today we took possession of our Sikhote Alin specimen that

> was stolen out of the the Institute of Meteoritics museum over the

> holiday break. Tomorrow it will be flying home with one of our staff

> as carry-on, and a UNM police escort will be waiting at the

> Albuquerque Sunport to bring it back to the main campus. This speedy

> recovery could not have happened without the generous help of some

> amazing people in the meteorite community. I will give a full account

> of this whole story soon, and praise those who were instrumental in

> the recovery, but there is still an ongoing police investigation, so

> the details will probably have to wait until next week.


> Happy New Year!


> --

> Carl B. Agee

> Director and Curator, Institute of Meteoritics

> Professor, Earth and Planetary Sciences

> MSC03 2050

> University of New Mexico

> Albuquerque NM 87131-1126


> Tel: (505) 750-7172

> Fax: (505) 277-3577

> Email: agee@unm.edu

> http://epswww.unm.edu/iom/pers/agee.html

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Interesting, I was going to mention that while I was in at Gold Pro shop Jeff told me he had a couple of guys bring in a 20+ lb meteorite to sell. Said they found it in a dry canal bed Sale didn't happen. they later brought in a piece which they didn't buy. Think they broke it off the big piece. . be interesting if it has to do with this one.

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G'Day Allen

Now that is a very interesting story. but I think it would be a little bit tough to break a piece of this Sikhote, being an iron meteorite. A saw maybe but still interesting.

Yes it is amazing in this day and age with facebook, twitter, forums, emails, blogs ... you can get a message around the world in a matter of seconds, which is a good thing but can get scary. Technology, where is it going to end?

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UPDATE Cheers Johnno


Meteorite stolen from UNM museum

UNM museum searches for it's shooting star

Updated: Monday, 09 Jan 2012, 6:53 PM MST

Published : Monday, 09 Jan 2012, 6:53 PM MST

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - A very expensive meteorite was stolen before the University of New Mexico's Winter break and the international hunt to find it, worked.

The meteorite was once part of the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, it crashed onto Earth more than 60 years ago in Siberia. It is a 9490 gram (a little less than 21 pounds), iron-nickel meteorite but is so dense it feels like 50 pounds. The meteorite was a gift to the original Director of the museum from a Soviet scientist during the Cold War.

"Aside from being a great scientific specimen it has great historical value as well," said Director and Curator of the Meteorite Museum, Carl Agee.

It's worth between $20, 000 to $40,000.

Agee unlocked the doors of the museum to show a visitor their well known collection on January.

"As I was showing him around the displays, I was going from display to display describing what we have. And then I came upon this display that was empty," said Agee.

The Sikhote Alin was missing.

The UNM police believe that someone stole the meteorite from the display case and walked out the front door. The alarms weren't working correctly at the time.

Agee had to move fast to find the meteorite and quickly contacted the International Meteorite Association (IMCA) which alerted it's community of collectors from all over the world.

By the next morning, Agee got a message that a man in Missouri had bought the rock for $1,700.

The museum paid to fly an employee to the Midwest to retrieve it, lugging it through security.

"It stopped the line and caused a big hubbub and three or four agents came over and pulled it out," said Administrative Assistant Leeann Lloyd.

UNM police say they have a suspect but he hasn't been arrested yet. They found him because he used his real name during the transaction, police say the man stole the meteorite for the money.

Agee is glad the thief sold it and didn't toss the evidence overboard.

"He might have ended up throwing it in the bushes or it might have ended up in the bottom of the Rio Grande," said Agee.

The suspect was not a student at UNM and police say he had no records of ever attending the University.

The Meteorite Museum at UNM will be closed to the public until they review their security devices and make sure they're working so something like this doesn't happen again.

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ST. LOUIS • Tim Heitz knows a meteorite when he sees one. The self-titled Midwest Meteorman has been collecting the space rocks ever since he saw a feature about them on the Discovery Channel more than 15 years ago.

"When you have them come through your hands, you can see them, feel them, touch them, and smell them, you know what meteorites are supposed to look like," Heitz said.

So when a man contacted Heitz on Dec. 19 and sent him a picture of a meteorite he claimed was from his father's rock collection, Heitz knew it was the real thing. What he said he didn't know was that this meteorite was stolen.

The iron-nickel meteorite had been taken from the Meteorite Museum at the University of New Mexico's Institute of Meteoritics in Albuquerque, N.M.

The meteorite, a 4.6 billion-year-old rock that was once part of the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, crashed to Earth in Siberia in 1947. The meteorite is about half the size of a basketball and weighs about 21 pounds. But two weeks passed before anyone even knew it was missing.

On New Year's Day, the museum's director, Carl Agee, was leading a collector on a tour of the museum. When he got to the case that was supposed to hold the meteorite, donated by a Russian scientist in the midst of the Cold War, Agee discovered the case was empty.

He alerted university police, but he also turned to a less Earth-focused authority: Anne Black, vice president of the International Meteorite Collectors Association.

Black posted a picture of the meteorite on the group's website, where 340 collectors from around the world trade tidbits about the chunks of extraterrestrial matter.

By the next morning, Agee had an email in his inbox from a collector who said he knew where Agee's stolen meteorite was.

A week earlier, on Christmas Eve, Heitz received the meteorite, shipped to him in a beat-up box. He wired the seller $1,700, then asked a South Carolina-based collector to appraise the meteorite.

That collector told Heitz the meteorite he bought for $1,700 was actually worth $18,000.

But when the collector later saw a picture of the stolen meteorite, he recognized it and emailed Agee.

"We were thrilled," Agee told the Post-Dispatch. "In 24 hours we went from the depths of despair, having this beautiful specimen gone from our display, to knowing its whereabouts."

Last Friday, Heitz met Lee Ann Lloyd, a museum assistant, at the St. Louis Airport Marriott to return the meteorite. Heitz had offered to ship it back to Albuquerque, but Agee wasn't taking any chances.

"I was getting so concerned about the whole thing, the possibility of it getting lost," Agee said.

Lloyd even carried the meteorite with her on the plane. She contacted the Transportation Security Administration beforehand, but it still caused some excitement when she took it through airport security.

"It was a little bit of an event," Agee said. "People were coming over to look at it."

He said university police are still collecting evidence on the man suspected of stealing the meteorite.

Heitz, a retired Chrysler electrician who lives in Fenton with his wife, said he's glad the meteorite is back to its rightful owner, even if his collection is down by one and, he suspects, he's out the $1,700 he paid for it.

But the Midwest Meteorman doesn't want to be called a hero.

"I don't have a big ego," he said. "I just like what I do."

He's already on to his next transaction. A 60-pound meteorite from Paraguay is on its way to him now.

Read more: http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/metro/stolen-meteorite-lands-in-fenton-collector-s-lap-is-returned/article_49ccb402-ae5f-5b01-bbd5-9075de90c0f2.html#ixzz1jRpuKVx9

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  • 1 month later...

A TV-news reporter showed up at the IOM today telling us UNM police had finally tracked down and arrested the guy who stole our Sikhote Alin. He was caught in the act of a another campus burglary yesterday! This story gets another strange twist. Here is the link to the segment broadcast at 5 PM.

Carl B. Agee


Cheers Johnno

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The University of New Mexico Police believe they have the man suspected of stealing a one-of-kind piece of history from a university museum. UNM police arrested Derek Douglas who is accused of stealing a meteorite from the Meteorite Museum.

The museum’s director Carl Agee said he was caught off guard in January when giving a tour of the meteorites when he noticed one of the display cases was empty.

"I did a double take because there was nothing in the display and I realized something was amiss," Agee said.

Agee contacted police and within 24 hours someone in Missouri claimed he was in possession of the stolen meteorite. A meteorite dealer contacted police in New Mexico with documentation of the sale from Douglas. According to reports, the dealer told police that he knew something was not right because he purchased the meteorite for $1,800 when it was valued at nearly $40,000.

A judge signed an arrest warrant for Douglas on Feb. 13, but police did not ocate him until Wednesday in a very bizarre incident. UNM Police responded to the Mandalay Express restaurant inside UNM’s student union building with information that a man broke into the restaurant. Police soon realized that the man they had in custody was Douglas.

Douglas appeared in court for a first felony appearance. A judge set his bond for $10,000.

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