12,000-year-old mammoth tusk stolen from Washington art gallery

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A 12,000-year-old mammoth tusk worth $19,000 was stolen from a downtown Seattle art gallery, officials said.

Screenshot of KING5

A mammoth tusk worth $19,000 was stolen from a downtown Seattle art gallery, officials said.

Kathy Lee, the owner of Fossil & Stone, told Seattle police that a man wandered through the gallery on April 5 before approaching the tusk, which carried a visible price tag. The suspect took the artifact and left through the gallery fire escape, heading for a purple PT Cruiser. The driver of the vehicle told the suspect to get in the car and the two drove off, police said.

An employee followed the suspect and attempted to spray him with pepper spray, but sprayed himself instead, police said. The suspect’s getaway car had been reported stolen, police said.

The tusk is estimated to be at least 12,000 years old, KING5 reported.

The incident was the gallery’s second theft in the past month, Lee told KIRO7.

“I’m heartbroken,” Lee told the outlet. “I spend more waking hours here than at home, so I consider it my second home.”

This story was originally published April 8, 2022 4:01 p.m.

Vandana Ravikumar is a real-time McClatchy reporter. She grew up in northern Nevada and studied journalism and political science at Arizona State University. Previously, she reported for USA Today, The Dallas Morning News and Arizona PBS.

William E. Bennett