Thieves hacked at least four large petroglyphs from cliffs near Bishop, California, that had been there for more than 3,500 years, reports the Los Angeles Times. Two others were damaged and left behind. The etchings of animals and symbols in a region known as Volcanic Tableland are sacred to Native Americans, and the Bureau of Land Management is offering a $1,000 reward. Thieves likely needed to haul in generators and power saws to get the job done in the remote area.
"It was the toughest telephone call I ever had to make," says a BLM official, referring to the call to local tribal leaders. "Their culture and spiritual beliefs had been horribly violated. We will do everything in our power to bring those pieces back."