Stolen Mojave Desert Cross Found Here in Bay Area

A 2010 Mojave Desert mystery appears to be partial solved.

By Lori Preuitt
|  Tuesday, Nov 6, 2012  |  Updated 12:15 AM PDT
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A stolen monument that was made to honor World War II veterans was discovered in the Bay Area two years after it disappeared. NBC Bay Area's Jean Elle reports.

A stolen monument that was made to honor World War II veterans was discovered in the Bay Area two years after it disappeared. NBC Bay Area's Jean Elle reports.

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A stolen monument that was made to honor World War II veterans was discovered in the Bay Area Monday after a tipster called a local TV station.

San Mateo County deputies were dispatched to a location near Skyline Highway and Highway 92 on Muddy Road at 11 a.m. after someone called KGO to say they found a famous cross on the side of the road.

The cross is known as the Mojave Cross. It was stolen two years ago from Sunrise Rock in the Mojave National Preserve where it had stood since 1934. The cross was the focus of a U.S. Supreme Court legal battle over the separation of church and state. Ultimately the justices ruled the cross was legal. A month after the ruling, it was stolen on May 9, 2010.

Fast forward two years and it was found near Half Moon Bay.

The deputies found the cross zipped-tied to a fence and wrapped in paper. A typed note explained it's origin. In part the note read, "This cross is an important historical artifact."  Deputies said it was in good condition.

Veterans groups have replaced the stolen cross with a new one. It's not clear what will happen to the newly found cross.

There was a reward of $100,000 for the arrest and conviction of those who stole it.

The San Mateo County sheriff's office said it will contact the San Francisco branch of the National Park Service to take custody of the cross.

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