NC man accused of stealing meteorites
FILE: This unrelated photo provided by Heritage Auctions shows a naturally sculpted Gibeon iron meteorite discovered by indigenous tribesmen in Namibia with a metal detector. (AP Photo/Heritage Auctions)
The Associated Press
Published Tuesday, January 1, 2013 7:23AM EST
BREVARD, N.C. -- Authorities in southern North Carolina have made one arrest following the theft of 100 meteorites from a science education centre and are searching for a second suspect.
The Asheville Citizen-Times reports that 29-year-old Brian Koontz of Balsam Grove is charged with breaking and entering, larceny and injury to personal property. He's being held at the Transylvania County jail.
Video surveillance shows two thieves breaking into the Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute near Rosman around 3 a.m. on Christmas Eve.
The thieves took meteorites that were on loan to the institute. They also took television monitors, overhead video projectors, a microscope and other scientific instruments.
Sheriff's detective Wade Abram says most of the stolen items were recovered from one of the suspect's homes. He declined to say which suspect.