Just days after celebrating its second year in business, the Pahrump Art Gallery became the victim of a burglary last week.
Nye County Sheriff’s deputies say the thieves gained entry by heaving a large chunk of cement through a window.
Artist Marti Zeigler said Nye County Sheriff’s deputies contacted her about the crime Dec. 31, where much of her jewelry was stolen from a display case.
Zeigler, who is the gallery’s featured artist for the current quarter, said she and her husband Eugene use handmade techniques to make jewelry that is for sale at the gallery.
“We do rock jewelry and wire rock jewelry,” she said. “They took two trays of jewelry. We have another artist that we share a cabinet with who does beautiful beaded work and they took a little over half of her stuff.”
Curiously, Zeigler said the thieves focused only on what was inside the display case while leaving other valuable items inside the gallery where they sat before fleeing the scene.
“They just took the door of the display case,” she said. “The paintings were just fine and they didn’t ransack the place. There’s also a big screen television that they didn’t take. It looked as if they knew exactly what they wanted, but we just don’t know for sure.”
Zeigler also said local authorities are working with area jewelry stores and pawn shops to help with their investigation.
Her loss, she said, was upwards of $1,100.
The gallery shares space with The Chapter Two used book store at 601 East St., just adjacent to the Pahrump Community Library.
“We had some pretty unique pieces on display,” she said. “They didn’t take the tray, they just took the jewelry. We were not insured and of course I don’t blame the library.”
The Zeigler’s loss could have been much greater had it not been for a suggestion from her husband just recently who told her he had an ominous feeling about leaving all of their jewelry on site.
“We had just decided that we would take half of the jewelry home with us, which we did,” she said. “Thank God we did that. Eugene wanted to take it all home, but I convinced him to share the display case with the other jewelry there because it had a lock on it. We did leave two trays there.”
As local authorities continue their investigation, they want the public’s help in identifying the culprits.
Anyone with information is urged to call the Nye County Sheriff’s office at 775-751-7000.