Three men accused of stealing more than $1 million worth of gold and silver from the Cripple Creek and Victor Gold Mining Company have been arrested.
Authorities suspect the thefts have spanned at least six years, and investigators tell us they believe the men used their knowledge of the mining process, to commit the largest mine theft they've ever seen.
Since the beginning of mining, there have been stories of thieves pocketing gold and silver as they work. Now authorities say the newest story might be true.
Just outside Cripple Creek where gamblers flock to strike it rich, investigators say three men hit their own jackpot of more than one and a half million dollars.
Daniel Parsons, John Hurtt and Peter Quammen have been charged with conspiracy and theft for allegedly skimming from the top of the Cripple Creek and Victor Gold Mines.
According to an arrest affidavit, Parsons told a former girlfriend, "The mine makes millions, and we're just taking pennies."
"I think they felt the mines making a lot of money," said investigator Larry Martin, "they'll never miss this."
But investigators say those pennies added up, and Parson's conscience kicked in. He went to Teller County Deputies.
"I think he just wanted to unload, to get it off his chest." said Detective Sergeant Nicholas Olmsted.
Investigators say the men would steal a silver and gold solution in the middle of the mining process and run it through a contraption that they built, using a metal screen and an electric charge to extract the precious metals.
Authorities stress this is an ongoing investigation and more people might be involved. Parsons and Hurtt are in a Teller County Jail. Quammen is in California awaiting extradition.