Up to $25,000 in Fluorite stolen from museum - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Up to $25,000 in Fluorite stolen from museum

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ROSICLARE (WSIL) -- A thief or thieves broke into the American Fluorite Museum in Hardin County and took several pieces of the specimen valued up to $25,000.

Roy Jackson, with the American Fluorite museum, says another board member came to clean a week ago and noticed the building had been broken into. 

The suspect, or suspects, took a rock from near the front door, broke the glass at the bottom of the door, and were able to crawl into the building.

The burglar then used a similar rock to break into a glass cabinet, taking eight pieces of small Fluorite, some donated by local families.  

"They was worth more and they was easier to carry out," Jackson explains. "A lot of the other specimens we’ve got in there are pretty good size and they are heavy." 

He believes it's someone who has been to the museum before, "They knew where it was at and how to get to it."

Jackson says the minerals are worth up to $25,000 and are in demand by collectors, "It’s just a unique kind of shape. A lot of it is the light blue color, and that's what is most expensive." 

The museum has been closed since February when there was a fire caused by the furnace malfunctioning. The furnace room was completely destroyed and smoke damaged other rooms inside the building. 

At that time, building's alarm system was disconnected and a GoFundMe page was set up. Jackson says the break-in is another setback, but the Hardin County Sheriff and the Illinois State Police (ISP) are investigating. 

"They (ISP) just got fingerprints and shoeprints," he adds. "I think it's just a matter of time before they catch them." 

Anyone with information on the theft is asked to call the Hardin County Sheriff's office at (618) 287-2271.

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