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The State

January 10, 1988

Five people suspected of being part of a statewide flat-tire robbery ring were arrested in San Francisco and charged with stealing $52,000 in gold nuggets. The scam involves thieves letting the air out of the tires of jewelry dealers and, in the course of offering to help, grabbing their briefcases and running. The arrests followed a complaint by Wentworth Tellington, a Downieville prospector who came to San Francisco with 350 gold nuggets panned in Sierra streams. Tellington told police that while he was changing a tire, a man reached into his car and took a case containing the nuggets and ran to a waiting car that sped off.

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