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F.B.I. Search for Gems Makes Little Progress


The Federal Bureau of investigation has not discovered any new clues in the past six weeks that weeks that would lead to the discovery of the $50,000 worth of gems and precious stones stolen from the Mineralogical Museum over the July Fourth holiday.

Clifford Fodel, professor of Minerology and curator of the mineralogical exhibition hall, reported that the FBI had checked out "all the anonymous leads, but the search was futile."

The Bureau's Washington headquarters narrowed the number of possible fingerprints down to 17,000 soon after the burglary, but although the prints on a smashed safe were reportedly very clear, further investigation has lead nowhere.

In addition to a circular which described the stones and was shipped to museums and jewel dealers all over the country, the University museum has issued several other pamphlets to supplement the additional information.

"We have done everything within our power to recover the stones," Fondel declared, "but so far we have no developments either encouraging or discouraging."

To prevent a repitition of the July Fourth break, Frondel and his associates have conducted an intensive check of Museum security precautions, which has been completed. The new measures will be implemented if the plan is approved by the University police.

According to Frondel, "the measures are designed to obviate a recurrence of anything like the $50,000 burglary." He declined to describe specific features of the new security system, but said that "some type of alarm system will be installed, and safe-type cases will be provided for very valuable objects."

Until this time the Museum has not been equipped with burglar alarms because every exhibit is locked at night and movement between rooms is difficult. Also, a watchman is supposed it make a tour of the building every two hours.

The burglars probably entered the Musem's main building through a downstairs window. They tore off the steel bands and punched out a lock to get through the two steel doors guarding the third floor room which housed the stolen jewels. To get into the display safe which housed the valuable jewels they had to jimmy and sledge-hammer their way through a steel and concrete lid and two inches of display glass. The burglars also smashed their way into seven other display cases. The whole job must have taken them at least three hours, but they were not discovered during that time by any museum employee.

After fifty specimens of outstanding scientific value were stolen. The most serious loss was an uncut 84 carat diamond, called by Museum experts "the largest and most perfect diamond crystal of its size on exhibit in the world." Most of the stones stolen were not insured, due to their irreplaceable nature which makes insurance premiums prohibitive

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