AURORA, Colo. (CBS4) — A trailer containing fossils worth more than $100,000 was reportedly stolen from the parking lot of Crowne Plaza Convention Center/Hotel in Aurora over the weekend. The president of GeoDecor said the stolen items include a rare, 92-million-year-old fossil shark specimen and the fossilized skull of a giant Cretaceous predatory fish from Kansas.
“The theft of the fossil shark is particularly heartbreaking,” Thomas Lindgren stated “Its high value is based on the fact that shark skeletons rarely fossilize because they are composed of cartilage.” That one piece was valued at $50,000 and was slated for purchase by a museum.
Thirteen fossils were in the trailer, including at least four pieces valued at over $10,000 each, Christine Lindgren, Executive Vice President of GeoDecor, stated.
“Other fossils present in the trailer at the time of the theft include the fossilized skull of a giant Cretaceous predatory fish from Kansas valued at $20,000, as well as a fossil garfish in a limestone matrix valued at $18,000 and a fossil stingray and fish in limestone matrix valued at $11,000; the latter two are 51-million-year-old Eocene treasures from Wyoming,” Christine Lindgren stated.
The 20-foot-long sliver-toned trailer that was stolen was recently purchased for $11,000, according to Christine Lindgren. It has a small “Loadrunner” logo its side, near the back.
Lindgren says he bought the trailer nine days ago.
“I don’t think it was stolen for what is in it, I think it was targeted because it was something they thought they could get quickly,” he said. “This isn’t just stealing somebody’s trailer this is stealing science and stealing important pieces that belong somewhere else.”
Lindgren, who is currently exhibiting at the Colorado Mineral & Fossil Spring Show at the Crowne Plaza, reportedly discovered that the trailer was missing Sunday night at 6 p.m.
“Detailed photos and information have also been provided to the Association of Applied Paleontological Sciences, alerting fossil dealers at the show – and fossil dealers worldwide – of the stolen property in order to prevent the illegal sale of the fossils,” Christine stated.
GeoDecor, Inc. is offering a cash reward of $1,000 to anyone with information leading to the recovery of the trailer and the fossils. Christine said no questions will be asked, and no charges brought against anyone who returns the trailer to the front parking lot of Crowne Plaza Convention Center Hotel with its contents intact.
Any person who sees the trailer or its contents is asked to contact the Aurora Police Department at 303.739.6000 or 303.627.3100.