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Police ID two suspects in $1M California gold heist

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This image provided by the Siskiyou County Sheriff's office shows Scott Wayne Bailey and David Dean Johnson. (AP/Siskiyou County Sheriff)

Police have named two suspects in a gold heist in California that netted more than $1 million a year ago.

The two men, both from the San Francisco Bay area, allegedly made off with more than $1.25 million in gold, jewelry and artifacts from a display case in the lobby of the Siskiyou County Courthouse during a February 2012 robbery.

“This has been a long and arduous investigation . . . "

- Sheriff Jon Lopey

Now, police say they’ve issued felony warrants for David Dean Johnson, 49, of El Cerrito and Scott Wayne Bailey, 51, of El Sobrante.

The men are the primary suspects, the LA Times reported.

“This has been a long and arduous investigation involving ... suspects responsible for burglarizing our courthouse and stealing a historic gold display and other antiquities which cannot be replaced," Sheriff Jon Lopey said in the release, according to the paper.

After making off with the gold and other items, Johnson and Bailey used the money from the sale of the goods to purchase "high-value" items, Lopey said.

The entire gold collection before the theft was valued at about $3 million. Lopey said it would be "highly speculative" to guess how much of the gold, if any, would eventually be recovered.

Surveillance footage captured video images of two men breaking into the courthouse at the time of the heist. An alarm that was rigged to notify Yreka police and sheriff's deputies did not sound at the time.

Yreka, the seat of Siskiyou County, sits in the shadow of 14,000-foot Mount Shasta near the Oregon border.

Miners and other residents donated much of the gold to the collection over the past century.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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