Bungled heist: Thieves targeting gold snatched replicas from Niigata museum

Thieves stole five replica gold plates from a museum in Sado City on Monday
Thieves stole five replica gold plates from a museum in Sado City on Monday (NHK)

NIIGATA (TR) – Unknown perpetrators snatched replica gold plates from a museum in Sado City but left behind real precious metals next to the display, police revealed on Tuesday, reports TV Asahi (Apr. 18).

At around midnight on Monday, the suspects smashed a glass window near the entrance of the Aikawa Kyodo Museum and stole replica gold plates from a display, Niigata Prefectural Police said.

Responding security guards arrived at the scene about 28 minutes later to find an arm-sized hole in a door behind the case, the Asahi Shimbun reported (Apr. 18).

On both sides of the display of the replicas were three plates of silver (each weighing some 30 kilograms and valued at 2.10 million yen) and a one-kilogram gold bar (valued at 5 million yen), all of which the thieves left undisturbed.

The replicas were part of a display about the last gold extracted from a mine, which closed in 1989.

The city’s director of cultural promotion of the Board of Education said that expressed some relief in that the real precious metals remained after the theft. “But even if it’s a replica, it’s still an important asset of the people,” the director said. “I hope to shore up our crime prevention measures.”

Police are investigating the case as robbery.

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