Talk about brazen: Masked thieves smashed a stolen SUV into the site of Wells Fargo's original bank in San Francisco early this morning and made off with historic gold ore and nuggets, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Wearing hoodies and ski masks, they broke into display cases at the Wells Fargo History Museum and grabbed up to 10 ounces in nuggets worth around $10,000, notes the AP. They also held a security guard at gunpoint before driving off in a four-door getaway car. "This is terrible," says a maintenance worker across the street. "It’s a museum. People are crazy. They have no respect. This is where schools come on field trips."
The robbers may struggle to profit without melting the nuggets, according to a rare coin dealer who says other dealers now know about the heist. But melting them would mean ruining possible markings about when and where each nugget was mined, and by whom, adds a mining geologist: "This is such bad news from my viewpoint," he says. On the bright side, NBC Bay Area reports that no one was hurt and historic stagecoaches at the museum weren't damaged. But the Bay Area has seen similar smash-and-grabs lately, including a U-Haul backed into a Patagonia store in January and a Pontiac Grand Am plowed into an Apple Store in May.