BLM offers reward in petroglyph theft case

According to the Bureau of Land Management, someone has damaged or stolen petroglyph panels at five locations in a major rock art site within the volcanic tableland north of Bishop.  BLM has offered a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the petroglyph damage.

In a press release, BLM Field Office Manager in Bishop Bernadette Lovato said, “The individuals who did this have destroyed an irreplaceable part of our national cultural heritage.”  Lovato said BLM has increased surveillance of the sites and is working with other agencies to catch the culprits and recover the petroglyphs.

The rock art site, according to BLM, is protect3ed under the Archaeological Resources Protection Act and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.  BLM says the site is one of the most significant rock art sites in the region and is still used by the local Paiute Tribe for ceremonies.

Greg Haverstock, BLM Bishop Field Office Archaeologist is quoted as saying that the rock art in question “clearly portrays the activities that occurred at the site during the past 3,500 years.”

BLM says that these violations can be prosecuted as felonies and first-time offenders can be fined up to $20,000 and imprisoned for up to one year.  Second-time felony offenders can be fined up to $100,000 and imprisoned for up to 5 years.

Anyone with information should contact Melody Stehwien at 760-937-0301.

10 Responses to BLM offers reward in petroglyph theft case

  1. Big AL November 19, 2012 at 7:14 pm #

    I think the reward should be $20,000, that is what the first offense fine is … $1,000 is not even worth the time and effort for someone who is motivated by monetary gain to rat these guys out. That is what it is going to take to get them, make the reward desirable enough to entice someone to talk.

    These people were most likely professionals.

    From little I have heard about this .. .. I would say, that it is not anyone local .. we might be surprised, but I think it was a professional job done to fill an order for a wealthy customer. most likely they will not be caught unless the reward is sufficient to motivate some one to talk. but I hope and pray they are caught!

    Some comments about people partying is a lil heavy sided. I understand what some of it is about, some of the party activity does lead to damage at worst, and in the least … leaving it all trashed with debris from the party.

    People thinking they can get away clean .. better beware of the eye in the sky, it can see you taking a leak, read who you are texting. All though I doubt the eye was watching this at that time, but it might be now. Think twice about it.

    • Mark November 20, 2012 at 8:20 am #

      Up the reward someone will talk. As someone else said “No honor among thieves”.
      The $1000.00 reward is insulting. Shame on the BLM, you’re all getting good pay, donate towards the reward. Same goes for the Tribe.

  2. Jeremiah's Alter Ego November 19, 2012 at 12:57 pm #

    There is no honor among thieves!
    To me this is another reflection of how much that precious lifestyle and culture is in the past.
    I say it is precious because in compared to our current lives we are hurting each other and our whole planet directly and indirectly.
    It is sick to me that we all collectively continue to consume and waste natural resources to contribute to this capitalistic society that really only benefits a elite circle.
    Is it really worth it to have all kinds of convenient ideas that tax the Earth at a rate that is unsustainable for our little ones?
    But it sure is sad to hear “I am too old to care anymore” and I hear that all to often.

    • charles spiller November 19, 2012 at 5:36 pm #

      Wow, I think I just heard a blurb about this story from the BBC. They mentioned that the thieves used power saws. I am waiting now for the whole story.

  3. Mark November 19, 2012 at 7:54 am #

    I’m sure with a little investment in time they could be caught.

    The reward should be 10k

  4. Wilderbeast November 18, 2012 at 8:02 pm #

    That area has been the frequent site of locals….getting drunk and partying and taking pot shots at the petroglyphs. Had a chat with one of the folks in a local watering hole and he was quite proud of himself and his buddies.

  5. Dingo November 18, 2012 at 2:46 pm #

    Obviously the individual(s) who stole this never saw The Brady Bunch episode where Greg Brady (or was it Peter Brady?) took the rock medallion thingy and was cursed with bad luck and almost drowned on a 2 ft wave.
    All joking aside, this is a major bummer. What the hell is wrong with people? If they weren’t tweakers they may have been drunk or maybe they are just plain stupid and have ZERO respect for our history. Either way whoever stole this has some serious bad karma comin their way.

  6. Big AL November 17, 2012 at 11:19 pm #

    This is so sad, I agree, I hope they get caught! But I doubt it was tweakers Ferdinand, yeah they pretty much will steal anything, but this was done by someone more motivated, I’m sure. The same kind that dig up and sift sites, and haul stuff off. GRRR

  7. ferdinand lopez November 17, 2012 at 9:56 am #

    probably tweekers,they steal everything

  8. Chris November 17, 2012 at 9:42 am #

    This violation of our local history and the Paiutes’ ceremonies breaks my heart. $1,000 is seems meager as a reward but I understand BLM’s limitations. Hope someone knows something and the perpetrator(s) are caught. So sad.


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