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Police have arrested the culprits behind the theft of the largest meteorite to ever land in the southwestern region of Guanxi, China, an artifact that is deemed to be Beilai village’s most prized possession where it has remained for hundreds of years.
The incident occurred on Jan. 27 when the 2 ton meteorite measuring 120 cm (47.2 inches) long and 65 cm (25.5 inches) wide vanished from the concrete block it was anchored to.
After noticing that the prized possession had gone missing, people of the remote village immediately organized a manhunt and set up a reward of 10,000 yuan ($1,482) for anyone who could provide information about the suspects, according to Chinese media via Shanghaiist.
Luckily, three days after it was reported, local police were able to track down the seven alleged culprits behind the theft, Xinhuanet reported. They were also successful in retrieving the stolen meteorite.
It is unclear how much a 2 ton meteorite would go for on the market, but Shanghaiist noted that even a small scrap can demand quite a steep price. For example, last year, a 20-gram space rock was sold for 24,000 yuan ($3,700).