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Man Charged with Stealing $25K Dinosaur Claw from AZ Gem Show

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Note to thieves: If you steal a valuable item from a vendor at a gem show, it’s probably not a good idea to try to sell the stolen item to another vendor.

Apparently, this rule of thievery got by 39-year-old Christopher Thomas, who did that very thing after stealing a dinosaur claw worth $25,000 from Tucson’s Gem and Mineral Show, police say. Just eight days after the January 30th theft, Thomas brought the claw to another gem show in the city and attempted to sell it to a vendor “at a much lower price,” according to a statement released by the Tucson Police Department.

Unfortunately for Thomas, the vendor — Adam Aaronson — recognized the stolen fossil. So he told Thomas he knew a potential buyer and set up a meeting with the victim, Eric Miller. “When I saw it come into the room where I was hiding as the potential buyer, I was absolutely thrilled,” Miller says. Thomas, on the other hand, wasn’t. He was promptly arrested and now faces a charge of trafficking stolen property, police say.

Would you know where to find a buyer for a dinosaur claw?

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