Someone stole tens of thousands of dollars' worth of ivory and Alaska Native art from Duane's Antique Market in Anchorage early Saturday morning, a clerk at the store said.
Employee Matthew Pickerson arrived to work at the store around 9 a.m. and saw that someone had thrown a rock and smashed the front door. Ivory tusks, nearly 25 scrimshawed whale teeth, two mounted walrus skulls and other pieces were missing, he said.
Anchorage police are conducting a burglary investigation, said spokesman MJ Thim.
Security cameras at the store showed the burglary happened between 5 and 5:30 a.m. Saturday, Pickerson said, and the footage showed just one person, who broke into three display cases.
He "rolled all the pieces up in a rug and took the rug," said Pickerson, who called the store owners and the police after he saw the damage. "Very rare pieces. He came through, grabbed it all, it seemed as if he planned ahead."
One tusk that was taken was ripped off a walrus mount, Pickerson said.
The estimated value of the stolen goods could be around $50,000 or more, Pickerson said. Workers are still assessing exactly what was taken.
"Almost all the pieces that were taken … have been Alaska Native art pieces carved by local artists," Pickerson said.
The suspect is a white man in his late 50s or 60s, Thim said, about 6 feet tall with short gray hair and glasses. He was wearing a black trench coat over dark blue overalls, with a white T-shirt, and brown boots, Thim said.
The suspect vehicle is a late 1990s gray sedan, "possibly a Chevy Lumina," he said. Police are asking people with information about the suspect to call 311 or 907-561-STOP.