Burglars strike PARI on Christmas Eve, Times-News reports UPDATE

From the Asheville Citizen-Times

(by Sabian Warren)

Transylvania sheriff’s officers have made an arrest in a Christmas Eve break-in at Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute, and investigators recovered most of the items stolen including rare meteorites.

Charged Saturday night was Brian Thomas Koontz, 29, of Balsam Grove, Transylvania sheriff’s Det. Wade Abram said.

Investigators are still searching for another man believed to have participated in the break-in at the science education facility near Rosman – Hendersonville resident Robin Morris Baldwin Jr.

From the Hendersonville Times-News

by Emily Weaver

Transylvania County deputies are searching for thieves who broke into a hands-on research facility and swiped expensive electronics and irreplaceable not-of-this-Earth objects on Christmas Eve.

The secluded, hi-tech Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute, once used in Cold War espionage and as a tracking station for NASA, was burglarized around 3 a.m. Dec. 24. Deputies say individuals entered the facility and took items such as computer monitors, televisions and projectors.

The thieves also swiped more than 100 priceless meteorites, most of them one-of-a-kind, from three collections that were on display, according to David Clavier, vice president of PARI’s administration.

A surveillance photo of the suspects:


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