Fort Plain Police issue warning to treasure hunters bringing metal detectors to historic site


FORT PLAIN, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Fort Plain Police say treasure seekers with metal detectors have been spotted at a local cemetery and historic site, and they are now being warned to stay out or risk being arrested.

The warning appeared on the Fort Plain Police Department’s Facebook page. It read that they have received multiple complaints of people entering the grounds of the Fort Plain Cemetery and the Fort Plain Museum and Historical Park.

The cemetery and the adjacent piece of land owned by the museum is on the site where the Revolutionary War era Fort Plain once stood.

Police Chief Ryan Austin told News10’s Anya Tucker that he believes some artifacts may have been unearthed and stolen. He has concerns that the items are being sold off to collectors. “We have had reports that some items were sold on eBay.” He said. But, he added that those reports have not been substantiated yet.

Chairman of the board of directors at The Fort Plain Museum, Norm Bollen said it is akin to stealing a part of Capital Region history.

“It’s that information. Once that knowledge is lost, it’s lost.” He said.

Chief Austin says it’s possible that those looking for good places to treasure hunt did not see the signs that restrict the use of metal detectors and the removal of artifacts. But he says, now that they’ve been warned they will face arrest and a trespassing charge if they are caught on the property with metal detectors. He says he has also increased patrols in the area to keep trespassers out.

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