Space caper! Someone stole a chunk of a very rare asteroid that crashed in the 1920s

Contributed by
Aug 21, 2014, 4:17 PM EDT (Updated)

Yes, stealing is bad. But if you’re going to steal something, you might as well make it something really, really cool. 

According to Universe Today, a burglary was reported at the Sonnenborgh Museum and Observatory in Utrecht, Netherlands, on Aug. 19. Among the items reported missing? A meteorite that scientists believe originated from the asteroid Vesta, one of the largest members of the asteroid belt.

The space rock first landed on our little planet in 1925 in the province of Zeeland, and it's one of just five ever to have been recovered in the Netherlands. So, in addition to being an extremely rare piece of space material, it’s also a fairly high-profile item in the museum’s catalog. Double ouch.

Initial news reports note the meteorite likely wasn’t the main target for the theft — that would be the goodies in the safe — but the thief apparently couldn’t pass up the fragment after stumbling upon it. Which, yeah, if you’ve gone that far why not go ahead and snag the meteorite?

At least at the moment, it doesn’t sound like the authorities have much in the way of leads. In all seriousness, it’d be a shame if the piece is never recovered. That’s something everyone deserves a chance to enjoy, not just some wannabe space jockey with sticky fingers.

(Via Universe Today)