Valuable fossil missing from Maryland store

By Martin Weil
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, December 21, 2010; 10:28 PM

A piece of prehistory has been purloined. A fossil has been filched in Frederick, the police there reported. It is called a trilobite, and it is missing, its owner said.

It was about 400 million years old, said Richard Constant Bailey, owner of Earthly Elements, a rock shop in Frederick, from which the fossil " happened to walk away."

Trilobites, ancient marine animals, are said to be second perhaps only to the dinosaur in popularity among fanciers of the extinct.

Bailey said the fossil, which he was selling for $487, disappeared from a display case Saturday.

"Somebody opened up the display case," which was not locked, he said.

Smaller items disappear every few days, he said. But the trilobite, about four inches long, which he described as a "true collector's piece," was his most substantial loss.

He said the fossil, acquired from a British collector and found in the northern Sahara, was "very well prepared," and probably the best quality trilobite he had ever had in the store.

Frederick police are seeking the public's help in recovering the item.

Post a Comment

Comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. Finally, we will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or privacy policies or any other policies governing this site. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions. You are fully responsible for the content that you post.

© 2010 The Washington Post Company