Crisson Gold Mine Robbed At Gunpoint
March 2022 by Scott Harn
Speaking of a need to be cautious, as Ray Mills discussed in his article “Are You Being Followed?” earlier in this isse, our friends at the Crisson Gold Mine in Dahlonega, Georgia were the victims of an armed robbery on February 3.
Tammy and Tony Ray own the mine, which offers panning for gold and gemstones, mining equipment, jewelry, historical tours and more. Their daughter, Brianna Ray-Weaver, was working in the shop at the end of the day along with Tommy Dawkins, another employee, when a man walked in, shut the door and locked it behind him.
Brianna said the suspect announced, “This is a robbery,” and brandished a firearm, and then told her, “Do what I say and you won’t get hurt.”
The suspect also claimed he had a partner somewhere nearby, and told her, “If any of you come after me, my buddy will kill you.”
The suspect brought a duffel bag with him that he filled with two employee cellphones, wallets, cash from the register, gold nuggets and several trays of jewelry. Dawkins was told to sit on the floor while Brianna was ordered to help gather some of the valuables. It seemed the robber knew where the most expensive products were and targeting those cases, leading employees to believe he had been to the store before. He was able to leave with well over $100,000 of cash, gold, jewelry and other merchandise.
Brianna called it the longest three minutes of her life.
The armed suspect was described as a white male, 5’7”-5’10”, weighing about 225 pounds, wearing a black Cincinnati Bengals jacket with orange trim, a ball cap, black mask, light-colored blue jeans and black boots.
A $1,000 reward was offered by the Lumpkin County Sherriff’s Office for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the suspect or suspects. That reward was increased to $10,000 after donations from friends and family poured in.
This was the largest robbery of its kind in Lumpkin County, Sheriff Stacy Jarrard said.
A large, 8-pennyweight piece popped out of a very small crevice where the water had been extremely swift in the winter, leaving no visible gravel.
Depth is not an issue unless the site is thoroughly cleaned of shallow trash, and it is far easier to isolate and remove targets using a small coil in a target rich location.
I had my heart set on finding a large nugget on this trip, and it seemed to me that pounding known patches was not likely to turn up a monster. Inevitably I would spend at least half my day wandering off...
After a while I got a very nice signal and out came a sweet kidney-shaped bit of gold weighing about three grams.
We were met with a plethora of mechanical problems with the dry washer and even a few with the excavator that were at times frustrating, but we were in this for the long haul, so we needed to solve these problems and move forward.
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