Thursday, June 16, 2016

Charges Dismissed Against Man Accused of $80,000 Jewel Heist at Cleveland Museum of Natural History

Posted By on Thu, Jun 16, 2016 at 11:14 AM

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Update: The Cuyahoga County Prosecutor's Office on Friday dismissed charges against Hans T. Wrage, the man who late last year was accused of breaking into the Cleveland Museum of Natural History and stealing $80,000 in jewels. The exit from the heist was caught on video, which you can watch in the original story below. Wrage pleaded not guilty to charges of vandalism and grand theft back in December.

Reached for comment by Scene, Prosecutor Office spokesperson Joe Frolik said, "Since investigation continues in that case, we decided to drop charges at this time, reserving the right to refile at a later date."


(Original story 12/14/15): Today, the John Carroll University employee nabbed for a five-figure cat burglary at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History made his first appearance in court. Hans T. Wrage, which sounds like a perfect name for a jewelry thief in some B-rate movie, pleaded not guilty to the charges stemming from the December 3 jewel heist — even though Wrage was allegedly caught on security video committing the crime. 

The weirdest part of the story: how normal the 36-year-old appears according to his social media footprints. A cruise through Twitter and Instagram accounts listed under Hans Wrage shows a gourmand science nerd with a penchant for long-distance jogs. 

According to Cleveland.com, Wrage is currently facing fourth-degree felony grand theft charge. Cleveland PD say the JCU employee stole minerals and seven sapphires from the museum's collection, allegedly smashing through the displays with a pillow case. The jewels and minerals have reportedly not been found. 

Wrage works as a "teaching and research support technician" in JCU's physics department, according to the university's web site. Social media doesn't exactly paint the picture of a career criminal. Wrage usually posts food pics, updates about marathons, and links to science articles. He last posted on Twitter on December 5. 

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