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Jan 24, 2013 5:55 PM by Brian White

Tucson gem heist cracked after yearlong investigation

TUCSON - A SWAT team recovered gems from a theft almost a year ago from a home during a search warrant execution Tuesday.

The residents of the home, located in the 5000 Block of East Whispering Sage, were not there at the time of the search, Tucson Police spokesman Sgt. Chris Widmer said in a release.

In addition to the 1,900 gems stolen on Feb. 7, 2012, detectives recovered:

  • 4 hand guns, 3 rifles and a shotgun
  • Over 1,000 rounds of ammunition
  • Over 100 grams of cocaine
  • One-and-a-half pounds of marijuana
  • Evidence of narcotics trafficking

The stolen gems have been returned to the owners, who are gem and mineral vendors from Washington, Widmer said.

The case began last year in February when police were called over a theft. The owners of the gems were storing the rare Oregon Sunstones in a locked trailer parked at the Motel 6 on Benson Highway when it occured, records show.

The gems' value is estimated to be between $800,000 and $900,000.

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