January 1, 2013

BLM agents continue to investigate petroglyph crimes

An area where the thieves tried to carve out a petroglyph
but ended up leaving it. (Bureau of Land Management)
by Benett Kessler
Sierra Wave Online

Bureau of Land Management investigators continue to look into the case of the stolen and damaged petroglyphs near Bishop. A month ago, BLM reported that someone had used a power saw, generators and ladders to cut out and take at least four petroglyphs, leaving dozens of others damaged. The news went global.

One of the BLM agents working on the case is Melody Stehwein. She said in the new year the investigation is still ongoing. She said donations are still being made and that the $2,000 reward for information in the case has gone up. She said the climbing community, for one, had contributed to the fund.

Stehwein said she could not report any new details on the case. Anyone with information on the case that would lead to the thieves is asked to call investigator Eric Keefer at 760-937-0657 or Melody Stehwein at 760-937-0301.

Greg Haverstock, BLM Archaeologist, confirmed that the rock art is thousands of years old and part of the current Paiute Tribe’s ceremonial tradition. Haverstock said Europeans documented the rock art prior to 1890 and geological evidence shows them to be thousands of years old. Haverstock had earlier said, “The location of archaeological materials, feature remains and the rock art clearly portray the activities that occurred at the site during the past 3,500 years.”