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Masked Bandits Smash SUV Into Wells Fargo Museum, Make Off With Potentially Thousands of Dollars Worth of Gold Nuggets

"These nuggets represented Gold Rush-era."

Image source: KGO-TV

In a Wild West robbery of sorts, three masked bandits made off from the Wells Fargo History Museum in San Francisco with what could amount to thousands of dollars worth of gold nuggets. 

While police have not yet revealed the exact value of the stolen gold , Fox News reported that at least 10 ounces of gold believed to be worth $10,000 was taken. But according to police, the bandits didn't get the same gold they might have been after.

"These nuggets represented Gold Rush era. Our understanding from Wells Fargo is these aren't the actual ones that were obtained at that time," San Francisco Police Department spokeswoman Grace Gatpandan told KGO-TV.

The three bandits, each wearing a ski mask, crashed a stolen SUV into the revolving doors of the building at around 2:30 a.m. Tuesday. One of them held a security guard at gunpoint while the other two bandits proceeded to snatch gold nuggets from inside of a display case just before ditching the SUV and opting instead for a four-door sedan, the Huffington Post reported.

According to its website, the museum is one of 11 throughout the country with history exhibits showcasing real gold, a working telegraph, and works of art by Western artists. It even features the iconic stage coaches that Wells Fargo Bank now uses as a logo. The site of the museum is where the original Wells Fargo bank opened in 1852.

"We’re disturbed this happened to the Wells Fargo History Museum, but are grateful no team member was harmed. Additionally, the historic stage coaches on site were not damaged," Wells Fargo spokesman Ruben Pulido said.

However, local jeweler Jay Cresalia said the nuggets that were taken might actually be worth more than the ones actually originating from the Gold Rush-era: "Because they're used in jewelry and they are unique, so the value could be three to four times the value of gold weight," Cresalia said.

As KGO-TV reported, that could mean the golden nuggets are worth up to $50,000. The glass doors that were smashed during the early-morning heist are thought to be worth much more than the gold. Their estimated value is a cool $200,000.

Police said the three suspects, who are still on the loose, were last seen crossing the Bay Bridge as they fled the scene.

The Wells Fargo History Museum is a landmartk to which Bay Area tourists are known to flock. And while the museum remains closed for now, Pulido said sightseers will again be able to explore all the history inside.

"Rest assured, the museum will reopen, so it can continue to serve the thousands of visitors and Bay Area residents who visit it each year," Pulido said.

(H/T: KGO-TV)

Follow Jon Street (@JonStreet) on Twitter

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