TWIN FALLS — A Jerome man is being charged with stealing five replica artifacts worth $15,000 total from the College of Southern Idaho Herrett Center in April.
Bryan Richardson, 53, is being charged with burglary and grand theft.
Police identified him as a suspect and filed for a warrant in mid-April, a couple of weeks after the theft was reported. However, at the time Richardson was facing a separate burglary charge in Jerome County. He was sentenced to 3 to 10 years in state prison in that case last week, and made his initial felony appearance in Twin Falls court on Tuesday.
Richardson stands accused of entering the Herrett Center the afternoon of April 6 ad using a tool to open a display case containing the replicas and remove the four arrow/spear heads and an ax.
The replicas were of prehistoric Native American items that were found at a site near Fairfield, Twin Falls police said, and the crime was caught on security video. Police recovered the replicas not long after the theft, and in May the Herrett Center briefly displayed the real, priceless artifacts to the public. They are part of what is known as the Simon Clovis cache, Simon after the owner of the farm where they were unearthed in 1961 and Clovis as in the Clovis people, who lived in North America more than 10,000 years ago.
Richardson was being held in Twin Falls County jail as of Tuesday. His preliminary hearing is set for Sept. 1.