Artifact looting, vandalism surge in southeastern Utah

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Artifact looting, vandalism surge in southeastern Utah

Public, private partnership aims to foil thieves
In January, a looter with a rock saw and chisel attempted to steal this ancient petroglyph near Bluff, Utah. Vandalism and theft of archaeological resources are a significant problem on public lands in the Southwest.
Be on the lookout for looters

The nonprofit Friends of Cedar Mesa is offering a standing $2,500 reward to catch looters and vandals of southeast Utah’s Native American relics.
Friends of Cedar Mesa and Bureau of Land Management officials offer the following tips on how to spot incidents of looting and vandalism.
Watch for freshly dug earth.Watch for discarded human bones, often a sign that a burial site has been desecrated in an attempt to steal artifacts.Take photos of damaged areas, including tire tracks and footprints. Note vehicles and license plates of suspects.Watch and listen for rock saws, which are being used to cut out rock-art from sandstone walls.Watch for the illegal use of ropes to access ruins, often a sign of looting.Watch for round holes in the ground at ruin sites. Looters use wire to probe for artifacts.Preserve evidence of looting or vandalism by leaving a suspected site untouched.Be wary of people who visit ruins at night. Looters often work at night to avoid detection.Be wary about posting information and pictures of archaeological sites online. GPS data or directions to a site may tip off looters.Do not confront suspects. Record where and how the suspicious activity occurs, and contact authorities.Who to callTo report incidents of looting or vandalism on southwest Colorado public lands contact the Colorado State Patrol communication center at (970) 249-4392, the Montezuma County Sheriff at 970-565-8452, or the Anasazi Heritage Center at 970-882-4811. For incidents in southeast Utah, call 1-800-722-3998.

Artifact looting, vandalism surge in southeastern Utah

In January, a looter with a rock saw and chisel attempted to steal this ancient petroglyph near Bluff, Utah. Vandalism and theft of archaeological resources are a significant problem on public lands in the Southwest.
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