UTAH (ABC4) – Park rangers are searching for the suspects who stole fossils dating back more than 200 million years from the Capitol Reef National Park.

The National Park Service (NPS) is offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to the suspect’s identification and arrest.

Officials said the trace reptile track fossils were stolen sometime between August 2017 and August 2018. The fossils, dating back to the Triassic Period, were removed from a trackway inside the national park.

(Courtesy of the National Park Service)

Authorities are hoping to hold the suspects who have vandalized “irreplaceable paleontological resources” responsible for their actions, they said.

“Vandalism hurts,” the NPS said. “Some of the oldest and most extensive reptile tracks in the western United States are found within Capitol Reef National Park. Fossils preserve the record of life on earth and are exceedingly rare.”

Officials are asking anyone with information on the case to contact authorities in one of these ways:

  • Call or text the NPS tip line at (888) 653-0009
  • Submit an online tip here
  • Email NPS: nps_isb@nps.gov
  • Dial 911

“Information from other visitors is often very helpful to investigators,” officials said. “If you have information that could help recover the stolen fossils or that could help identify those responsible, the park asks you to please submit a tip.”