2nd man arrested in NC meteorite theft - FOX Carolina 21

2nd man arrested in NC meteorite theft

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Robin Baldwin Jr. (left) and Brian Koontz. (Transylvania Co. Sheriff's Office) Robin Baldwin Jr. (left) and Brian Koontz. (Transylvania Co. Sheriff's Office)
BREVARD, NC (FOX Carolina) -

A second man was arrested Thursday in connection with the theft of meteorites from a Transylvania County observatory, deputies said.

The theft happened at the Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute on Pari Drive in Rosman during the early morning hours of Christmas Eve.

PARI vice president David Clavier said the thieves, who roamed the facility for about 45 minutes, stole $80,000 worth of electronics and three collections of meteorites that were on loan to the institute.

After the theft, deputies said they had identified three people of interest in the case. They said the trio visited the facility a few days before the theft.

SLIDESHOW: People of interest in NC meteorite theft

On Dec. 30, investigators said they had identified suspects in the case - Robin Baldwin Jr., 30, of Hendersonville, and Brian Koontz, 29, of Balsam Grove. At that time, deputies said they had arrested Koontz.

Deputies said Friday that Baldwin was arrested in Henderson County on Thursday.

Both Koontz and Baldwin were charged with felony breaking and entering, felony larceny, conspiracy to commit breaking and entering, conspiracy to commit felony larceny and damage to property.

Koontz was being held in jail on $10,000 bond. Baldwin was being held in jail on $25,000 bond.

Investigators said they were able to recover most of the stolen property, including the collections of space rocks.

Copyright 2013 FOX Carolina (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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Asteroid: Also called minor planet. Astronomy . any of the thousands of small bodies of from 480 miles (775 km) to less than one mile (1.6 km) in diameter that revolve about the sun in orbits lying mostly More>>

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