AURORA, Colo. -- A trailer loaded with fossils valued at more than $100,000 was stolen Sunday in Aurora.
The trailer, owned by GeoDecor, was taken from the parking lot of the Crowne Plaza Convention Center at 15500 E. 40th Ave. during the Colorado Mineral and Fossil Fall Show, the company said.
The 20-foot, silver-toned trailer held, among other fossils, a 92-million-year-old fossil shark specimen valued at $50,000 that was scheduled to be purchased by a museum.
“The theft of the fossil shark is particularly heartbreaking because a museum was counting on adding it to their collection," GeoDecor president Thomas Lindgren said.
"Its high value is based on the fact that shark skeletons rarely fossilize because they are composed of cartilage; hence the $50,000 value.”
There were 13 fossils in the trailer, which was recently purchased for $11,000. At least four of the fossils were valued at more than $10,000 apiece, Lindgren said.
Lindgren discovered the trailer was missing at 6 p.m. Sunday.
Some of the fossils in the trailer included the fossilized skull of a giant Cretaceous predatory fish from Kansas valued at $20,000, a fossil garfish in a limestone matrix valued at $18,000 and a fossil stingray and fish in limestone matrix valued at $11,000.
The garfish and stingray fossils are 51-million-year-old Eocene treasures from Wyoming, the company said.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Aurora Police Department at 303-739-6000 or 303-627-3100.
A $1,000 cash reward is being offered to anyone with information that leads to the recovery of the trailer and the fossils.
Lindgren said no charges will be brought against anyone who returns the trailer to the hotel parking lot with the contents intact.