OAKLAND -- Gold nuggets and other, undisclosed artifacts were taken during a late-night break-in Monday at the Oakland Museum of California and police are reviewing surveillance video for leads, authorities said Tuesday.
The break-in took place about 11:30 p.m., according to police, who didn't give the value of the objects taken. Some of the artifacts are more than 200 years old.
The museum at 1000 Oak St. was closed at the time of the burglary. Police said someone broke a door to get inside the museum and then exited the building through a different door.
The museum's executive director, Lori Fogarty, said someone forced an entry into the building from the garden area of the museum and then stole the items from one of the galleries. Police said they believe the gallery contained items from California's Gold Rush era.
"We think the intruder was in and out in a very short amount of time," she said. "(Police) advised us we cannot release any information about the items at this time."
Fogarty also would not give the net worth of the pilfered objects.
"These are artifacts that reflect our history and have much more historical value than monetary value," she said. "But we are very hopeful in working with OPD in having these items returned."
The museum's security system was active at the time of the heist, Fogarty said.
"All of our security systems did what they were supposed to do," she said. "The alarms went off, the guards called 911 and OPD was here within three minutes."
Police on Tuesday said they were reviewing the museum's video surveillance tapes for leads.
Shortly after the break in a man was arrested outside the museum, but police said he did not have any of the items that were taken. Police would not release the man's name pending a review of the case by the district attorney's office.
So far, no reward has been offered for information leading to the return of the items, Fogarty said.
The museum, which has more than 1.8 million objects, opened in 1969 and is dedicated to collections of art, history and natural science related to California and its people. The museum's popular "1968 Exhibit" was recently extended through Nov. 25.
Staff writer Harry Harris contributed to this report. Contact Natalie Neysa Alund at 510-293-2469. Follow her at Twitter.com/nataliealund.