by: Viviane ChowNexstar Multimedia Cable
UTAH (ABC4) — Park rangers are searching for suspects who stole fossils from Capitol Reef National Park dating back more than 200 million years.
The National Park Service (NPS) is offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to the identification and arrest of the suspect.
Officials say the reptile track fossil tracks were stolen between August 2017 and August 2018. The fossils, dating to the Triassic period, were removed from a track inside the national park.
Authorities hope to hold suspects who vandalized “irreplaceable paleontological resources” accountable for their actions.
“Vandalism hurts,” says NPS. “Some of the oldest and most extensive reptile tracks in the western United States are found in Capitol Reef National Park. Fossils preserve the records of life on earth and are extremely rare.
Authorities are asking anyone with information about the case to contact authorities in one of the following ways:
- Call or text the NPS Inquiry Line at (888) 653-0009
- Submit a tip online here
- NPS Email: [email protected]
- Dial 911
“Information from other visitors is often very helpful to investigators,” officials say. “If you have any information that could help recover the stolen fossils or that could help identify those responsible, the park asks that you please submit a tip.”