|24 December 2005
Prehistoric arrowheads stolen in Florida
Florida State and county authorities are investigating the theft of more than a dozen arrowheads and a ceremonial knife from the Crystal River Archaeological State Park. The items were stolen from a visitor center display case that housed items from the Deptford period ranging from 500 BCE to 500 CE, park manager Nick Robbins said. The thief or thieves did not touch any other items in the nine exhibit areas at the center at 3400 N Museum Point. "They knew what they were after," Robbins said. One or two of the stolen items may have been replicas, he said. But the other items were irreplaceable and probably were valued at least at thousands of dollars.
The Sheriff's Office and the state Department of Environmental Protection's Park Patrol are investigating the burglary. "It's disheartening to think that someone would steal from the citizens of Florida. ... What those people do for the most part is steal a piece of a puzzle that may allow us to learn more of how people lived in ancient times," Robbins said.
Robbins said the security system at the visitor center was upgraded as a result of the theft. But park ranger Susan Clemons said that should have happened sooner. She said she has criticized the visitor center's security system for months. "Nobody cared enough about what belonged to the public to secure it correctly," she said.
In addition to the artifacts housed in the visitor center, the park includes burial mounds as high as 15 feet and a 30-foot-high temple mound. Robbins said it was the first forced entry burglary since the visitor center opened 40 years ago. Tierney said anyone who may have information about the burglary should contact the Sheriff's Office at 726-4488 and ask for Detective Luther Willis at ext. 337.
Source: St.Petersburg Times (22 December 2005)
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