$30K in gems, precious stones stolen in museum heist

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An estimated $30,000 in gems, precious stones and minerals were stolen from a Sussex County museum.

Franklin Borough police say that burglars forced their way through a second-story window, rappelling into the Franklin Mineral Museum early Monday morning. Emeralds, diamonds and opals were among the items taken.

Police said the thieves caused substantial damage, ransacking shelves and display cases.

“There was pretty severe damage to the exhibits,” says museum president Mark Boyer.

Officials believe one or more of the suspects were hurt because bloodstains were found in the museum.

“If anybody in the area has noticed anybody with any type of laceration that’s unusual, that hasn’t been treated…or maybe someone that may have sought some treatment and can’t explain where they received the laceration or injury, we ask that they contact the Franklin police,” says police spokesman Detective Sgt. Nevin Mattessich.

The museum was founded more than 50 years go. It displays thousands of items native to New Jersey.

Boyer says that he hopes the police are able to locate the stolen items. The museum is expected to reopen to the public this weekend.

Mattessich says that investigators will check with area pawn shops to see if the thieves tried to sell any of the stolen items. 

Anyone with information regarding the break-in is asked to contact Detective Daniel Flora at 862-273-5170 or Detective Sergeant Mattessich at 862-268-1401. Callers can remain anonymous.

The Associated Press wire services contributed to this report.

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