Stolen petroglyphs recovered

A reader provided  photos of the damage and thefts at the petroglyph site.  This shows an attempt to steal with four sides cut by a saw.

A reader provided photos of the damage and thefts at the petroglyph site. This shows an attempt to steal with four sides cut by a saw.

UPDATE:  2-1-13  BLM Field Office Manager Bernadette Lovato said that BLM “received anonymous information and we recovered the petroglyphs.”

Bureau of Land Management investigators don’t want to say where or how, but they confirmed today that the petroglyph panels stolen from the major rock art site north of Bishop have been recovered and are in the possession of the BLM. Discussions are underway with the Bishop Paiute Tribe on how to handle the dissected panels.

The BLM press release said this:

“Petroglyph panels taken from a major rock art site north of Bishop have been recovered.

Suspects(s) have not been identified and BLM is continuing its investigation, so cannot release further details at this time.

Reward funds totaling $9,000 have been donated or pledged for information leading to the conviction of the responsible party(ies).

The damaged petroglyph panels at the site on the Volcanic Tableland were discovered in late 2012.

Bernadette Lovato, BLM Bishop Field Office manager said, ‘Recovery of the petroglyphs was a priority from day one. I am pleased that they were returned.  Now we need the public’s help to identify the vandals responsible for damaging the site.’
Anybody with information about the theft is asked to contact BLM law enforcement at (760) 937-0301 or (760) 937-0657.  The suspect(s) may have experience and access to masonry cutting tools.

The petroglyph site is protected under the Archaeological Resources Protection Act and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.  This site is one of the most significant rock art sites in the region and is still used by the local Paiute Tribe for ceremonies.

Convictions on ARPA violations can result in fines and/or prison terms.  In addition, ARPA provides for civil fines, either in conjunction with or independent of any criminal prosecution, and forfeiture of vehicles and equipment used in the violation of the statute.”


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14 Responses to Stolen petroglyphs recovered

  1. tj nella February 2, 2013 at 8:05 am #

    great news!

  2. ferdinand lopez February 1, 2013 at 7:47 pm #

    pechanga is an indian tribe in temecula ca, hmmmmm

  3. Trouble February 1, 2013 at 7:06 am #

    I don’t understand why BLM doesn’t release how they got them back? Don’t we have a right to know?

    • Benett Kessler February 1, 2013 at 8:44 am #

      Trouble, They are still investigating and trying to get suspects. Sometimes investigators withhold details to use
      in questioning suspects. Benett

      • Trouble February 1, 2013 at 1:16 pm #

        This town seems to hold back more than most.

        • dj February 1, 2013 at 1:58 pm #

          An article on said the BLM received an anonymous letter leading to the stolen petroglyphs

          • Big AL February 1, 2013 at 8:03 pm #

            N-I-C-E! I knew someone would rat someone or something out.

        • Big AL February 1, 2013 at 8:01 pm #

          LOL Trouble … We don’t have to know everything .. gotta leave some for speculation and blogs.

          • Trouble February 2, 2013 at 6:19 am #

            True Big Al, our DA must be a big blogger.

      • Larry Peckham February 3, 2013 at 9:57 pm #

        I’m glad to see that the petroglyphs were recovered but the damage is forever.

    • Big AL February 1, 2013 at 7:59 pm #

      On going investigation Jerry

    • Steve Benson February 2, 2013 at 10:41 am #

      I suspect that releasing the details could compromise the investigation. I hope they let us know about it as soon as the perpetrators of this act are caught, but until then, whatever it takes to get these people, right?

  4. Big AL January 31, 2013 at 11:57 pm #

    BLM must have done something right maybe .. I mean that in a positive remark, that these have shown up … I wonder did they get nervous and dump them or did they just get discovered somewhere. I really thought they would get away (the stolen pieces), this is awesome they are found!

    I think a fine is lenient .. they should put these people on a chain gang busting rocks into little ones for about 7-8 years, then be forced to pay restitution.. since they seem to like destroying things. I don’t have much use for people who do things like this.

    I hope they can at least restore the pieces back to their locations, even though they are scared for ever, at least they will be back where they belong.

  5. Alice Chan January 31, 2013 at 3:27 pm #

    Thank goodness! Now if the horrid people who perpetrated this art-theft can be identified and fined, I’ll be a bit happier. It’ll never be the same, of course, since the on-site scars will remain forever, but at least these ancient pieces won’t be sitting in somebody’s high-end fireplace.


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