General Crime

Andre Taray Franklin Indicted On Theft Of Oakland Museum Artifact

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A parolee who allegedly stole a historic gold jewelry box from the Oakland Museum of California earlier this year was indicted by a federal grand jury on Thursday, federal prosecutors said today. Andre Taray Franklin, 45, allegedly broke into the museum on Jan. 7 using an ax and then smashed the display case to steal the jewelry box as well as gold nuggets and an antique pistol, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. The theft was captured on surveillance video. Franklin was identified as a suspect by DNA on an ax cover found on the grounds of the museum, and was later found to be wearing shoes consistent with those worn by the museum burglar, prosecutors said. When he was arrested on March 3, investigators also found that Franklin’s phone contained a blurry photo of the box and text messages exchanged with a person who allegedly bought the box from him.

The box was recovered from the address shown in the text messages, prosecutors said. Made between 1869 and 1878 of gold and gold-veined quartz by San Francisco goldsmith A. Andrews, the box is worth around $800,000, according to Oakland officials. Franklin, a parolee with multiple prior burglary convictions, is being held in the Santa Rita Jail on a parole violation and will appear again in federal court when his parole hold is lifted, prosecutors said.

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