Accused Cleveland museum gem thief appears in court

Hans WrageCLEVELAND, Ohio —  December 14, 2015. The man arrested in connection with a gem theft at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History was issued $5,000 bond in court. Hans Wrage, 36, pleaded not guilty to his charges, despite the fact that he was caught on security camera at the time of the event. Wrage was arrested after a warrant was issued for his arrest Friday.

Police were called to the museum earlier this month after staff members found a number of gems missing from the gem room. The seven stolen sapphires are valued at roughly $81,000.

Wrage works at the physics department at John Carroll University as a Teaching & Research Support Technician. He received his B.A. in physics at Macalester College in St. Paul, MN. His upper-level research project used time-resolved spectroscopy to study carrier dynamics in semiconductors. He went on to work at the University of St. Thomas also located in Minnesota where he was the laboratory manager for the physics department. Similar to his current position at JCU, he managed department facilities including the machine shop and computers, and built new classroom apparatuses and demonstrations. He received his M.S. at Creighton University in Omaha, NE where his thesis was on measuring the x-ray fluorescence cross-sections of select rare earth elements.

The university placed him on administrative leave pending the school’s investigation of the allegations. To see more related to this incident follow this link (Fox 8, Cleveland).

 

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