Dec. 21, 2004 Visitors entering the Fort Christian and Fort Frederik museums now have to leave their bags with an attendant. After an antique barometer was stolen from Fort Christian last week, members of the V.I. State Historic Preservation Trust don't want to take any more chances.
Police have found no leads since the barometer was reported missing last Thursday, Myron Jackson, director of the Historic Preservation Trust, said Tuesday.
"We've never lost anything before," Jackson said, adding they had to take all necessary precautions.
The "irreplaceable" barometer was first noticed missing last Tuesday, Jackson said, but it was not reported to the police until Thursday to make sure it had not been misplaced.
Now, because of the theft, visitors entering the historic forts on both islands will have to give up their bags at the door.
"It has never really been an issue for us," Jackson said of the visitors going in with their bags. "But now we're going to have to secure the visitors' bags."
Jackson said the barometer had previously been secured in a glass showcase with other items, but was removed and placed on a wall with other antique items as part of a display.
"Somebody went over the barricaded area and took it off the wall," Jackson said.
Jackson urged the person who took it or anyone who has seen it to return it or notify the police.
The barometer is 6 inches by 6 inches in diameter, is encased in a dark Mahogany frame and is heavy because of the frame, metal and glasswork. The piece, which is seen as a "valuable part of V.I. history," according to a release from the Police Department, has a value of more than $100.
Sgt. Thomas Hannah, Police spokesman, said Sunday that the incident is being listed as grand larceny. Anyone with information about the incident should contact the museum at 776-4566 or the V.I. Police Department at 774-2211. All information received will be kept confidential.
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