From the Richmond Dispatch, 10/31/1860, p. 1, c. 6
Robbery at the Institute. – Visitors to the exhibition at the Mechanics' Institute have examined with much curiosity a diamond ring, 300 years old, deposited by Miss Annie P. Allen, and a ten dollar gold coin, dated 1795, that lay close by it, deposited by Mrs. E. F. Browne. As relics of the past, these articles possessed great value, and no common inducement would have persuaded their owners to part with them. On Monday night, they were both stolen from the show-case, and all efforts to detect the thief have thus far proved unsuccessful. They were seen in their place half an hour previous to the termination of the exhibition, yet it seems probable that the case was unlocked by means of a false key, and the robbery perpetrated before the hall was closed. - On the same night, an embroidered skirt, deposited by Miss Hiltzhelmer, was stolen from another show-case. This case was found locked yesterday morning, and it is likely that the thief raised up a corner of the lid, inserted his hand and took the article out. The institute is strictly guarded every night, and there is no evidence of an entrance having been effected after it was shut up. Indeed, if such had been the case, the burglar would not have been contented with carrying off the few articles mentioned, when a vast amount of valuables were within reach. We understand that this occurrence is the first of the kind since the Institute was established. The peculiarity of the ring and the coin may yet lead to the apprehension of the perpetrator of this outrage.