BUENOS AIRES – Police foiled an attempt to steal 215 meteorites weighing 1,500 kilos (1.65 tons) when they stopped a truck at a checkpoint in northern Argentina and arrested four suspects, the Gendarmerie said.
Three Argentines and a Paraguayan were arrested on Saturday for stealing the meteorites, the law enforcement agency said in a statement.
The arrests were made in Chaco province, located about 950 kilometers (590 miles) north of Buenos Aires.
“There is still no information about the site where the celestial bodies were stolen,” Chaco Government Minister Javier Oteo told the press.
Campo del Cielo park, which is home to large meteorites, is located just 32 kilometers (about 20 miles) from General Pinedo, where the arrests were made, Oteo said.
“The information we have is limited and preliminary. We’re interested in the case because this is about public property that we want to remain in our province since it’s the heritage of Chaco residents, Argentines and all of humanity,” Oteo said.
Campo del Cielo protects numerous meteorites, including “El Chaco,” which weighs 37.4 tons and is the largest object of its kind in Argentina and the second-largest meteorite in the world.