MARIPOSA (CBS/AP) — California investigators were looking for thieves who made off with an estimated $2 million in precious gems and gold from a Central Valley museum during a brazen daytime robbery.

The Highway Patrol said the robbers were armed with pickaxes and threatened workers during the heist Friday at the California Mining and Minerals Museum in Mariposa. No suspects had been identified.

The museum was home to more than 13,000 artifacts, including the Fricot Nugget, a nearly 14-pound crystalline gold mass. Investigators would not say what items were taken but did confirm the nugget was not among them.

It’s the second heist this year of rare, valuable metals in Northern California. In February, thieves made away with large chunks of gold that were on display in a Siskiyou (SIS’-kyoo) County courthouse.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)




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