$400k in gold stolen from museum in NJ

July 27, 2011 7:10:43 PM PDT
Richard Hauck has dedicated more than 20 years to the Sterling Hill Mining Museum.

It's a treasure chest with a world of education on the history of mining around the world, and it's truly like turning the clock back and walking into history.

"We have a wonderful program with the Newark School District. This person did this while those kids were here," Hauck said.

Wednesday afternoon someone chose greed over respect by stealing $400,000 worth of irreplaceable historic gold pieces.

"This is our safe it's locked every night," Hauck said, "The building is alarmed. Here you can see trashed broken and a couple of small pieces left."

Sometime between 12:40 and 1:00 p.m., the thief walked into the museum between two tours, broke through the plexiglass with an ax and stole the collection

"On the other side we had the fool's gold. It may look shiny and gold. And this person obviously knew which side was the good side," Hauck said.

The scrap value is about 10% or $40,000.

So, Mr. Hauck is offering a $25,000 reward to get the collection back where it belongs in tact.

"My fear is that this person will panic and do something extremely stupid and alter the value of this material," Hauck said.

Now, hundreds of daily visitors won't be able to see the collection.

So you see, when you walk around the Ogdensburg Museum and its mine you realize it's worth so much more; especially when you see deposits that formed 1.35 billion years ago, and walk through an 1840's zinc mine with 35 miles of tunnel.

"The person hopefully will be found and the material will be found and all will be well again," Hauck said.