Mexico City – A total of 128 stolen metal panels worth approximately 13 million pesos ($1 million) and designed specially for the Large Millimeter Telescope located on the summit of Mexico's Sierra Negra volcano have been recovered and two suspects arrested, the Attorney General's Office said.
The panels, which are made of aluminum and nickel, were found at a house outside the city of Puebla by AG's office agents, Public Administration Secretariat personnel and National Astrophysics, Optics and Electronics Institute, or Inaoe, experts.
The telescope parts were at a house in the Santa Maria Tonazintla section of San Andres Cholula, a city in the Puebla metropolitan area, the AG's office said.
The suspects, one of them a minor, were charged with "possession of stolen items," the AG's office said.
The Large Millimeter Telescope is the world's largest radiotelescope in terms of frequency, boasting an antenna that is 50 meters (164 feet) in diameter.
The panels recovered by investigators will be used on the surface of the huge dish antenna.
Authorities are committed to protecting "the national heritage and scientific projects of international importance," the AG's office said.