Fifth Suspect Arrested in Gold and Gem Heist

MARIPOSA – A fifth suspect has been arrested for the theft of precious gems and gold worth $1.3 million from the California State Mining and Minerals Museum last year.

Michael Anthony Gomes

Michael Anthony Gomes, 43, was arrested on Tuesday in Citrus Heights near Sacramento after detectives searched his home. Gomes is in the Mariposa County Jail and faces felony charges of robbery, possession of stolen property, conspiracy and vandalism. He has previous drug convictions in Sacramento and Placer counties.

Authorities were able to recover some of the stolen items from the suspect’s home.

The four other suspects – 42-year-old Christopher Sheffield, 43-year-old Matthew Campbell, 41-year-old Jonathan Matis, 40-year-old Edward Rushing III – all pleaded not guilty and are in custody awaiting preliminary hearings.

All five suspects were arrested in connection to the two-minute heist on Sept. 28 of the Mining and Minerals Museum in Mariposa. The suspects entered the museum dressed in black and wearing hoods to conceal their identities, authorities said. They threatened a guide and curator with pickaxes, smashed open display cases, and were able to make off with more than $1 million worth of artifacts. The museum was open at the time of the heist.

The robbers also attempted to steal the Fricot Nugget, a 14-pound crystalline gold rock, but were unable to because they triggered an alarm that alerted authorities to their presence. Although police quickly swarmed the building, they were unable to apprehend the suspects at the time.

Read More:

Merced Sun Star: Fifth Arrest in Museum Robbery

Mariposa Gazette: CHP Nabs Fifth Robbery Suspect

Fifth Suspect Arrested in Gold and Gem Heist was last modified: January 14th, 2019 by admin
Categories: Mariposa
Tags: theft

About Author

Elizabeth Warmerdam

Beth Warmerdam is a freelance journalist based out of Reedley. She graduated from Fresno State in 2004 with a BA in print journalism and has worked for several newspapers and magazines. In addition to writing, Beth enjoys being a stay-at-home mom, trying to keep up with her 2-year-old son, Zachary.