Washington County’s Shocking Heist: Gold Disappears from Rice Northwest Museum

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A shocking burglary has shaken the serene halls of the Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks and Minerals located in unincorporated Washington County, Oregon. 

In the early hours of Sunday, a daring break-in saw the theft of several precious gold items from a prominently displayed case, prompting a swift response from law enforcement.

Washington County Sheriff’s Office received an alert from a break-in alarm at approximately 2:20 am, prompting deputies to rush to the scene. 

Upon arrival, they discovered a shattered window, the remnants of the burglar’s point of entry. 

Inside the museum, the shattered display case bore witness to the brazen theft of the gold items.

Security camera footage captured the culprit dressed in all black attire, donning a black ski mask, wielding a sledgehammer to breach the museum’s window. 

Despite law enforcement’s rapid response and efforts to cordon off the area and deploy tracking dogs, the perpetrator managed to evade capture.

Washington Museum’s Geologic Gems Under Threat

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A shocking burglary has shaken the serene halls of the Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks and Minerals located in unincorporated Washington County, Oregon.

The precise value of the stolen items has not been disclosed by the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, leaving the extent of the loss unknown. 

Founded in 1952, the museum has a rich history, housed within the former residence of its founders, Richard and Helen Rice. 

Reestablished as a nonprofit in 1997, the museum boasts an extensive collection of over 20,000 rock and mineral specimens, each carefully curated and showcased across its galleries.

The museum’s legacy as a repository of geological wonders stands in stark contrast to the audacious burglary that has disrupted its tranquil halls. 

Authorities urge anyone with relevant information regarding the break-in to come forward and assist in the ongoing investigation by contacting the Washington County Sheriff’s Office at 503-846-2700.

As the investigation unfolds, the incident serves as a grim reminder of the vulnerability of cultural and heritage institutions to such criminal acts and underscores the importance of community support in preserving these invaluable treasures for future generations.

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