Details on Mariposa Museum robbery arrests

November 14, 2012 12:00:00 AM PST
Four men are accused of robbing the California State Mining and Mineral Museum in Mariposa.

Investigators say Edward Rushing, Matthew Campbell, Jonathan Matis, and Christopher Sheffield, stole more than a $1 million worth of gold and gems.

All four suspects are at the Mariposa County jail. Officers arrested three of them Tuesday morning and the fourth Tuesday night.

Dozens of CHP investigators and authorities from allied agencies served search warrants in three northern California counties on Tuesday, arresting these four men.

Lt. Mike Troxell said, "For criminals to come up and here and do this to our community, I think there's finally some closure."

Officers say the suspects are all tied to a daring daytime robbery at the California State Mining and Mineral Museum On September 28th. Witnesses reported that two men smashed the display cases with a pick-axe before escaping with more than a $1 million worth of gold and gems. Surveillance cameras captured the crime, but Lieutenant Mike Troxell says the video is only one piece of the puzzle.

Lt. Mike Troxell explained, "It was six weeks of investigation from our central division investigative unit, and it was a culmination of all this evidence we collected, tips from the community, our local sheriff's department provided us information as well."

Officers first tracked down Edward Rushing at his ex-wife's house in El Dorado County. The ABC affiliate in Sacramento spoke with her after Rushing's arrest, but she did not want to be identified.

"We had like 30 police cars surrounding my house. It was really scary."

Investigators then arrested Matthew Campbell and Jonathan Matis in Sutter County. Several hours later they took Christopher Sheffield into custody in Sacramento. The vice president of the museum association says he heard the news during a board of supervisors meeting.

Ron Iudice said, "They announced it and everyone applauded, everybody was very happy about the capture."

Residents are also happy the museum re-opened last week for the first time since the robbery, but it's still not clear exactly what's missing from the meaningful collection.

David Will told Action News, "It's part of American history and part of our history in the gold country, and what they did - if they were the ones who did it - is not okay."

One of the suspects is being held at the jail without bail. Bail for the other three suspects is set at $1 million each.


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