The suspects in the Mariposa gold heist appeared in court Monday. Matthew Campbell, Jonathan Matis and Edward Rushing III pled not guilty. Christopher Sheffield’s arraignment was rescheduled for Tuesday because he did not have an attorney.
The suspects are accused of ripping off over a million dollars worth of gold and gems from the Mining and Mineral Museum back in September. They were recently arrested in northern California and now face eleven counts of robbery and burglary. Their bail is set at $1 million apiece.
Shackled and dressed in black and white stripes, four suspects cover their faces while walking from the courthouse to squad cars. News cameras weren't allowed inside during the arraignment, but the suspects pled not guilty.
“It was interesting seeing their faces in real life.” said Ron Iudice, V.P. of the Mineral Museum Association.
Members of the association came to court to see the men who allegedly ripped off over a million dollars worth of gold. It happened in September at the Mining and Mineral Museum in Mariposa. There was so much damage, the museum only recently reopened. Some residents say they took the crime personally.
“[The museum is] very representative of Mariposa and it sort of felt like if your own home had been burglarized,” said Paul Lockwood, a Mariposa resident for 60 years.
According to the criminal complaint, three of the four suspects have prior convictions. Investigators believe they plotted the heist together. The gold has not been recovered, but some residents have their own theories about what happened to it.
“They usually melt it down, unfortunately,” said David Medley, a Mariposa resident.
Since the incident, security has been ramped up at the museum.