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Theft of Tourmalines from Fallbrook Gem & Mineral Society Museum in California
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Chris Wentzell




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PostPosted: Sep 11, 2017 00:33    Post subject: Theft of Tourmalines from Fallbrook Gem & Mineral Society Museum in California  

I just wanted to share a story I just saw in the last hour on Facebook, sadly the Fallbrook Gem & Mineral Society Museum in Fallbrook, California, was robbed of several important Tourmaline Specimens..... here is the link to the facebook story:
https://www.facebook.com/fallbrookgemandmineralsociety/posts/1854174861264990
(link normalized by FMF)

Apologies if I have not done this correctly, but I wanted to get this up so that everyone can see it and spread the news to be on the lookout. Jordi and/or admins, can you please add the photos of the pieces shown in it? Many thanks in advance, lets hope these get found soon....
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Pierre Joubert




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PostPosted: Sep 11, 2017 02:38    Post subject: Re: Theft of Tourmalines from Fallbrook Gem & Mineral Society Museum in California  

Thank you Chris.
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'The tree of silence bears the fruit of peace. '
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Jordi Fabre
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PostPosted: Sep 11, 2017 03:33    Post subject: Re: Theft of Tourmalines from Fallbrook Gem & Mineral Society Museum in California  

Chris Wentzell wrote:
...Jordi and/or admins, can you please add the photos of the pieces shown in it? Many thanks in advance, lets hope these get found soon....

Thanks for the warning. I add four images of the stolen specimens that I found on the net. If you get more please add it. Thank you.



Theft of Tourmalines from Fallbrook Gem & Mineral Society Museum in California (1).jpg
 Description:
Stolen Tourmaline from the Fallbrook Gem & Mineral Society Museum.
 Viewed:  2529 Time(s)

Theft of Tourmalines from Fallbrook Gem & Mineral Society Museum in California (1).jpg



Theft of Tourmalines from Fallbrook Gem & Mineral Society Museum in California (2).jpg
 Description:
Stolen Tourmaline from the Fallbrook Gem & Mineral Society Museum.
 Viewed:  2528 Time(s)

Theft of Tourmalines from Fallbrook Gem & Mineral Society Museum in California (2).jpg



Theft of Tourmalines from Fallbrook Gem & Mineral Society Museum in California (3).jpg
 Description:
Stolen Tourmaline from the Fallbrook Gem & Mineral Society Museum.
 Viewed:  2538 Time(s)

Theft of Tourmalines from Fallbrook Gem & Mineral Society Museum in California (3).jpg



Theft of Tourmalines from Fallbrook Gem & Mineral Society Museum in California (4).jpg
 Description:
Stolen Tourmaline from the Fallbrook Gem & Mineral Society Museum.
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Theft of Tourmalines from Fallbrook Gem & Mineral Society Museum in California (4).jpg


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lluis




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PostPosted: Sep 11, 2017 04:50    Post subject: Re: Theft of Tourmalines from Fallbrook Gem & Mineral Society Museum in California  

Sorry to hear this, Chris

Being in Catalonia, I doubt I can give any indication... In case I see them in Internet as being to be sold, or sold, I would contact you...

With best wishes, and a very prompt recuperation of pieces!

Lluís
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James
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PostPosted: Sep 11, 2017 05:30    Post subject: Re: Theft of Tourmalines from Fallbrook Gem & Mineral Society Museum in California  

If they knew what they were doing they will have taken labels with locations. Do we know their localities?
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Chris Wentzell




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PostPosted: Sep 11, 2017 05:31    Post subject: Re: Theft of Tourmalines from Fallbrook Gem & Mineral Society Museum in California  

Thank you all..... also, the phone number for reporting anything is in the facebook post, but I would like to include it here too so if somebody sees or hears anything they can report it....
"Museum break-in: early hours of Sept. 10, 2017. 5 major tourmaline specimens stolen, plus others. Report suspicious sales or leads to San Diego Sheriff's Dept 760-451-3141

best regards, chris
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GneissWare




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PostPosted: Sep 11, 2017 08:08    Post subject: Re: Theft of Tourmalines from Fallbrook Gem & Mineral Society Museum in California  

photos 1 and 3 are Cryogenie Mine, Warner Springs, California,
photo 4 is Himalaya Mine, Pala
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James
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PostPosted: Sep 11, 2017 09:14    Post subject: Re: Theft of Tourmalines from Fallbrook Gem & Mineral Society Museum in California  

I will keep an eye out for internet sales - as I am fairly certain they will not turn up in the UK.
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rweaver




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PostPosted: Sep 11, 2017 13:29    Post subject: Re: Theft of Tourmalines from Fallbrook Gem & Mineral Society Museum in California  

Himalaya Mine is in Mesa Grande not Pala.
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GneissWare




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PostPosted: Sep 11, 2017 13:47    Post subject: Re: Theft of Tourmalines from Fallbrook Gem & Mineral Society Museum in California  

rweaver wrote:
Himalaya Mine is in Mesa Grande not Pala.

This is what happens before the morning pot of coffee.....
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rweaver




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PostPosted: Sep 11, 2017 14:07    Post subject: Re: Theft of Tourmalines from Fallbrook Gem & Mineral Society Museum in California  

Or what happens when you grow up in San Diego and wind up being a Yellow Hat / Driver for Josie Scripps. On the up side I got into places in the county back then that a lot of collectors did not.
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alfredo
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PostPosted: Sep 11, 2017 17:29    Post subject: Re: Theft of Tourmalines from Fallbrook Gem & Mineral Society Museum in California  

Thefts of mineral specimens from museums have become depressingly common in recent years: Sterling Hill, Mariposa, Franklin... and more. One might wonder whether museums were a safe bet for depositing the world's mineralogical treasures. I think we need a collectors' strike: no more mineral donations to museums until their security systems are brought up-to-date.
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Peter Lemkin




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PostPosted: Sep 11, 2017 23:35    Post subject: Re: Theft of Tourmalines from Fallbrook Gem & Mineral Society Museum in California  

Were these Josie Scripps specimens? She really had quite a collection!...and did a lot to advance the mining and collection of minerals in San Diego. Sorry to hear of the theft. I once had some professional movers move my collection. All was still there EXCEPT the raw diamonds - all gone. I couldn't do anything, as they simply said 'prove you had them in the mineral drawers when the movers moved them' - and I could not - though I am 100% sure they were....the box with the label was still there, but empty. Thank goodness the moving men didn't think any of my other specimens had enough value for them to pilfer.

Sadly, I think there are enough collectors in CA and nearby who would likely be interested in buying those specimens privately without the need to advertise them on the internet or at a show. Hope I'm wrong and they show up again. The thieves could be collectors themselves and not trying to sell them.
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Tobi




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PostPosted: Sep 13, 2017 02:25    Post subject: Re: Theft of Tourmalines from Fallbrook Gem & Mineral Society Museum in California  

alfredo wrote:
Thefts of mineral specimens from museums have become depressingly common in recent years: Sterling Hill, Mariposa, Franklin... and more. One might wonder whether museums were a safe bet for depositing the world's mineralogical treasures. I think we need a collectors' strike: no more mineral donations to museums until their security systems are brought up-to-date.
That question always comes to my mind when I hear about such thefts. When I imagine I had such a criminal intent and I would be about to steal a specimen from a museum ... I would have no chance in any museum that I know. The only "chance" would be to break the glass of a showcase, and that would not stay unnoticed. Apart from that, I would have to carry a heavy thing like a large hammer with me. Actually museum displays (at least here in Germany) do not have thin glass that can be broken easily, a larger hammer or something similar would be necessary. So how do those thieves manage to "open" the displays? Do they really smash them and no one notices??? Or do they have picklock keys (which would mean the museums use amateur displays without security mechanism)? Or are there museums that do not lock their specimens away so that visitors can grab them?!
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Mary FongWalker




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PostPosted: Sep 29, 2017 05:07    Post subject: Re: Theft of Tourmalines from Fallbrook Gem & Mineral Society Museum in California  

All of the members of the Fallbrook Gem & Mineral Society (FGMS) are disheartened by this brazen theft. But I want to make something perfectly clear: the museum had more than met all security standards. FGMS has always had security has it's highest priority for the museum and the treasures that are housed within.

At 4 o'clock in the morning, the burglars cut the chains and padlocks, broke the security gates, breached the front doors, triggered the alarm system, then proceeded to break the locked glass display cases, and escaped with Tourmaline specimens before the police arrived.

These iconic specimens are the heart of the San Diego County suite. They were obtained either thru fund-raising efforts or through donations by generous benefactors. The Fallbrook Museum is an admission-free museum that is solely staffed by volunteers who want to share their passion for gems, minerals & fossils with the local community. Of particular importance is exposing our hobby to kids so they can get excited about mineral collecting and learn about our area's rich mining history.

We are hoping that publicizing the theft will help us recover these specimens and we thank all of you in the mineral world for spreading the word. We also hope that our story will encourage all of you to examine the security measures you have installed for your own collections.

FGMS is offering a generous REWARD for information leading to the recovery of all, or some, of the stolen specimens.



Tourmaline_Cryo Genie Mine Double 23cm.jpg
 Mineral: Tourmaline
 Locality:
Cryo-Genie Mine, Warner Springs, Warner Springs District, San Diego County, California, USA
 Dimensions: 23 cm
 Description:
Donated to FGMS by Peter Bancroft in honor of his wife Virginia.
 Viewed:  1287 Time(s)

Tourmaline_Cryo Genie Mine Double 23cm.jpg


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Mary FongWalker




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PostPosted: Sep 29, 2017 05:10    Post subject: Re: Theft of Tourmalines from Fallbrook Gem & Mineral Society Museum in California  

This is the other Cryo-Genie specimen that was stolen


tourmaline cryogenie single 23 cm.jpg
 Mineral: Tourmaline
 Locality:
Cryo-Genie Mine, Warner Springs, Warner Springs District, San Diego County, California, USA
 Dimensions: 23 cm
 Description:
Purchased by funds raised by Volunteers for Minerals and matching funds by Peter Bancroft and donated to FGMS
 Viewed:  1285 Time(s)

tourmaline cryogenie single 23 cm.jpg


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Mary FongWalker




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PostPosted: Sep 29, 2017 05:12    Post subject: Re: Theft of Tourmalines from Fallbrook Gem & Mineral Society Museum in California  

This is another of the stolen tourmalines.


Tourmaline on Quartz_Tourmaline Queen Mine 17 cm.jpg
 Mineral: Tourmaline
 Locality:
Tourmaline Queen Mine, Tourmaline Queen Mountain, Montaña Tourmaline Queen, Pala, Pala District, San Diego County, California, USA
 Dimensions: 17 cm
 Description:
 Viewed:  1281 Time(s)

Tourmaline on Quartz_Tourmaline Queen Mine 17 cm.jpg


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Mary FongWalker




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PostPosted: Sep 29, 2017 05:14    Post subject: Re: Theft of Tourmalines from Fallbrook Gem & Mineral Society Museum in California  

Another Queen Mine specimen that was stolen.


Tourmaline and Quartz from the Tourmaline Queen Mine 8 cm.jpg
 Mineral: Tourmaline
 Locality:
Tourmaline Queen Mine, Tourmaline Queen Mountain, Montaña Tourmaline Queen, Pala, Pala District, San Diego County, California, USA
 Dimensions: 8 cm
 Description:
From the famous Blue Cap pocket
 Viewed:  1276 Time(s)

Tourmaline and Quartz from the Tourmaline Queen Mine 8 cm.jpg


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Mary FongWalker




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PostPosted: Sep 29, 2017 05:16    Post subject: Re: Theft of Tourmalines from Fallbrook Gem & Mineral Society Museum in California  

This is the last of the five major Tourmaline specimens stolen from Fallbrook Gem & Mineral museum


Tourm Qtz Lepid Pala Chief 15 cm.jpeg
 Mineral: Tourmaline
 Locality:
Pala Chief Mine, Chief Mountain, Pala, Pala District, San Diego County, California, USA
 Dimensions: 15 cm
 Description:
 Viewed:  1274 Time(s)

Tourm Qtz Lepid Pala Chief 15 cm.jpeg


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PostPosted: Sep 29, 2017 05:19    Post subject: Re: Theft of Tourmalines from Fallbrook Gem & Mineral Society Museum in California  

In addition to the five major Tourmaline specimens, several rough & cut sets were stolen: 6 were Tourmaline sets and the additional 7 sets included Emerald, Morganite, Amethyst,
Aquamarine, Topaz, Garnet & Ametrine. This photo shows how the sets were mounted. These were donated to the museum by Ed Swoboda who was well known for these sets.



Rough & Cut Sets.jpg
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Rough & Cut Sets.jpg


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