Arrest warrants have been issued for David Dean Johnson, age 49 of El Cerrito and Scott Wayne Baily, 51 of El Sobrante.

Two Bay Area men have been identified as suspects in the February 2012 gold theft at the Siskiyou County Courthouse.

Arrest warrants have been issued for David Dean Johnson, age 49 of El Cerrito and Scott Wayne Baily, 51 of El Sobrante, according to Siskiyou County Sheriff's Department spokesperson Allison Giannini.

After the warrants were issued by the Siskiyou County District Attorney's office and the Siskiyou County Superior Court on Thursday, March 28, detectives from the department's Major Crimes Unit traveled to the Bay Area searching for suspects. Although they were not located, additional evidence was seized and detectives are "optimistic" Johnson and Baily will be apprehended.

The men are suspected of breaking into the Siskiyou County Courthouse in Yreka on Feb. 1 and making off with more than $1 million in historic gold nuggets, jewelry and other artifacts.

The arrest warrants were authorized after a series of search warrants were served by the Siskiyou County-Wide Interagency Narcotic Task Force in Shasta County and Bay Area residences on Jan. 15, Giannini said.

One residence was located in Redding and the other in the City of Shasta Lake. Two residences were also searched in Contra Costa County, one in El Cerrito and one in El Sobrante, said Giannini.

The investigation revealed that at least some of the gold proceeds may have been used to purchase various high-value items.

The felony arrest warrants, authorized by District Attorney Kirk Andrus, include a $1 million bail, Giannini added.

Sheriff Jon Lopey said some of the evidence used to obtain these warrants came from tips contributed when the reward amount was elevated to $50,000 by the Siskiyou County Board of Supervisors and County Administrator.

"Although we still have a lot of work to do in this case, the issuance of the felony arrest warrants should result in the arrest of the suspects," said Lopey.

Other agencies that contributed their services in the investigation include Siskiyou County District Attorney's Office of Investigations, California Department of Justice Crime Lab (Redding), Shasta County Sheriff's Office, Contra Costa County Sheriff's Office and other Bay Area agencies, Lopey said.

The investigation into the Siskiyou County Courthouse burglary and theft is on-going and anyone with further information should contact Detective Yves Pike at (530) 842-8354.