Early Friday morning police responded to a break in at the National Automobile Museum in downtown Reno, Nevada. I live in Reno myself, and have visited the museum a number of times, each one a treat. As soon as I heard the reports, a chill went down my spine. This museum is home to a number of highly significant cars, including the lone surviving Dymaxion, a Phantom Corsair, the 1908 New York to Paris winning Thomas Flyer, most of the Bill Harrah collection, and Ed Roth’s famous Beatnik Bandit.
Police told local KOLO News 8 that, thankfully, none of the vehicles or historic displays were damaged. The perpetrator allegedly meted out their damage to the museum lobby and gift shop. This area does house one of the three gold-plated Deloreans in the world, as well as the later Beatnik Bandit II and a few others. If the cars did remain unharmed, that’s a very lucky thing.
According to the report of events, museum staff confronted the man mid-act and he ran from them to hide in the halls of the museum. He escaped the building but was later apprehended by Lieutenant Jim Dangle (no, not actually) outside of the Renaissance hotel across the street. The suspect is being charged with felony property damage and theft. Police say drugs may have played a part in the incident.
The museum remained closed for the rest of Friday and staff are currently assessing whether repairs and fixes can be affected in time to open for the weekend.
This is a total bummer on many counts, but luckily nobody was hurt, and the cars supposedly remain intact. I truly love this museum, and once the doors re-open, you should book yourself a trip to see it.