Testimony ended today in the case of 2 men accused of stealing the first object to be transported through the veil via gateway technology, a 1 kg tungsten cube. Those assembled in the King County Superior Court heard the last witness in the case this afternoon. Closing arguments and final jury instructions are set to begin in the morning.
For many, the cube’s journey on February 12, 2026 was one of those “I remember where I was” moments. News that a teleportation-like system had been created, a fixture in many sci-fi stories, swept the globe, and amazed the scientific community. The cube made around a dozen additional journeys over the next year, and was subjected to a number of tests before finding a home in Veilcorp’s Seattle facility.
The well-traveled tungsten had been on display to the public, with a handful of other items, in Seattle for years. Field trips to look at the cube were common for area school children, and it became one of the most popular tourist destinations in the city. An estimated 4 million people visited the cube in 2030. 2 of those people were 30-year-old Matt Broder and 27-year-old Jamie Tillson.
Broder and Tillson belong to a radical environmental group called, Gaia Guard. The group has a long history of conflict with a number of corporations, but have targeted Veilcorp in particular for several years. According to prosecutors, the popularity of the cube had caught the attention of the pair, and a plan to steal the cube was soon hatched. Officials allege that the men posed as cleaning crew and stole the cube the night of February 12, 2031, the 5th anniversary of its journey.
The incredible theft made headlines and began one of those strangest criminal investigations in history according to police. Investigators have testified over the past weeks that Broder and Tillson initially planned on ransoming the cube, but quickly decided to try and sell it instead. Tips began to come in almost immediately as the pair seemed shockingly open about their involvement in the crime. “At one point they listed the cube for sale on a social media site,” testified one investigator.
A sting operation was soon set up, with an undercover law enforcement official posing as a high-powered fence. Over the next 2 months, officials met with Broder and Tillson a number of times to discuss terms. Recordings of those meetings show that the pair seemed to be surprised at how much attention the theft was getting, and were unsure on exactly how much to ask for the cube. “They were completely out of their depth. I was, and still am amazed that they managed to steal the thing in the first place,” an agent told the court.
The tapes show a pair of men who were incredibly misinformed about the legal peril they were in, and the law itself. At the beginning of the second meeting Broder told the agent that they wanted to be paid in trade instead of money so they “wouldn’t get in as much trouble as they would if they took cash and got caught.” The list of items the pair allegedly wanted in trade, a frozen yogurt machine in particular, has become the focus of a lot of attention in the media.
A luxury motorhome featuring slide-out rooms, quartz countertops, pearlized italian leather seats, and touch screen walls, valued at $2.5 million topped the list, but it was the pair’s love of frozen dessert that seemed to be their main focus. “We agreed to the small stuff and haggled over the motorhome for a while, but came to an agreement eventually. The biggest point of contentions was the yogurt machine. They really had their hearts set on getting this one specific model. It ended up working out really well for us. We told them that we were having a hard time getting the exact model they wanted, and used the delay to keep them talking. We learned a lot about their organization. I guess they were sick of sleeping in wet tents and really wanted frozen desserts.” testified an agent.
The Froyo Felons, as they’ve been dubbed by the press, didn’t dispute many facts during the case, but argue that they acted simply as middlemen for the cubes sale. They further claim that the State had not proven the value of the cube. Jury deliberation is not expected to take long, and a verdict is likely before the end of the week.
“We are eager to have the cube back in its proper place after the trial,” says Veilcorp spokeswoman Lisa Hunt. She adds,
“It’s a shame that these individuals were so easily sucked into believing Gaia Guard propaganda. We don’t think of the cube as ours. It belongs to the people, and to history. We are just acting as stewards. We promise to do a better job from now on at protecting all of the artifacts in our exhibits, we owe it to the public. I personally feel terrible that these two were led down such a dark path. I wonder how things might have been different for them had they come here earlier, and heard Dr. Oeming’s vision of the future instead of radical disinformation. Our snack bar offers 4 different flavors of frozen yogurt. I can only imagine how different things might have been for them had they visited our cafeteria.”