American Legion Post Robbed of Eight World War II Guns

Police are still searching for suspects tied to a string of robberies targeting the American Legion in Ohio. (Photo: WSYX/WTTE)

Ohio police are on the search for thieves preying on American Legion posts. To-date the thieves have robbed five posts and most recently stole eight guns used for ceremonies.

The American Legion in Merango, Ohio, had all eight of their rifles stolen in the last raid. The Legion used the rifles to perform ceremonies including 21-gun salutes. The guns were on loan from the U.S. Army.

It’s likely that six of the rifles were purchased by a local pawnbroker, who bought them in good faith.

“He said that a family member, father or grandfather, had bought a case of these things, old military weapons,” said the pawn shop president John Kinney to the local news. “If we think something isn’t right, we’ll mention it to the detectives.”

Police tracked down six of the eight stolen rifles to a local pawn shop. (Photo: WSYX/WTTE)

One suspect in the investigation sold the guns over the course of two days to the pawn shop for $140 each.

See Also: A Full-Auto Garand? The Secret World War II T20 Machine Gun

Detectives searched the suspect’s home but are not pressing charges at this time. However, Ohio police have arrested two other men tied to the investigation, Kennith Nelson and Oscar Staton Jr.

The two other suspects appear linked to one of the other American Legion burglaries. Police detectives across the state are looking for information and other suspects linked to these robberies.

The American Legion is one of the best-established veterans’ organizations in the United States. The group performs annual and historical commemorative events as well as pushes for increased veterans’ benefits.

{ 10 comments… add one }
  • Ray November 3, 2017, 3:48 pm

    Joe please explain for the non pc folks out here what is the difference between burglarized and robbed.

    • Dab F. November 4, 2017, 11:21 am

      1. PC has nothing to do with it. The definitions come from several hundreds of years of English common law, in place well before anyone ever heard of political correctness (except that if one was not politically correct in loyalty to the monarch, one may find themselves headless or executed some other way);
      2. Burglary is the entry into a building with the intent to steal or commit some other felony. Degrees of burglary are usually established by the type of building, e.g. house, office building, commercial store, etc.;
      3. Robbery is theft from the person of another committed by force or fear.

  • Silverbullet November 3, 2017, 12:31 pm

    In my opinion, most pawn shops are scum dealers ,stealing under the guise of paying pennies for items worth hundreds. If all items had serial numbers those shops would be out of business.
    There’s no doubt that better then half of there inventory has been stolen. Most legion post the guns are givin the guns ,,,loaned,,,, by the government. So in realty the thieves have stolen from the government and its federal offence jail time. The scum dealer should never get his money back , he stole from thieves by buying stolen guns for profit.

    • Pd623 November 4, 2017, 10:17 pm

      Yeah dealer should have paid him more to lose more money. sounds like dealer helped out !!

  • Joe November 3, 2017, 9:01 am

    They were burglarized not robbed. There is a difference.

  • akjc77 November 3, 2017, 7:50 am

    The real story here is the Police finding them!! Outta my 40 years I’ve never had a stolen item or known anyone had items stolen that the Police actually found. No matter if ya had serial numbers etc or not. Seems even rural police are too busy to go hunt one individuals items down, so must of been the Legion part that motivated them to find em?

    • Kivaari November 3, 2017, 10:05 am

      As the pawn broker or dealer takes the guns in they report the intake to the police. The police check local crime reports and enters the items into a national data base. We recover guns all the time. I recovered guns that had been stolen 23 years earlier.

  • Steve in Detroit November 3, 2017, 4:24 am

    The Pawnbroker paid $140, but would have put them out with at least a $750 tag on them. It shows that only thieves take firearms to pawn shops.

    • Lying Bastards November 3, 2017, 6:37 am

      Not only thieves but relatives to a deceased gun owner. There are cases of old ladies who brought priceless firearms to pawn *and* gun shops and the store owners, realizing the value, hammered down the prices to next to nothing. See the old tv show pawn stars, “this is a trapdoor M1 Garand serial number 14? I can only offer $150 for it; that is the best price you will get. And if you leave with it and come back, next time I will only offer $100. Cash in hand. What will it be?”

      Not knowing what you have gets you in trouble

    • Pd623 November 4, 2017, 10:14 pm

      Pawnbrokers take risks when purchasing items hence the greater the risk the lower the price … Don’t judge unless u walked in there shoes. Lucky guns where sold at pawn shop or u still be looking! Many legitimate people bring Gus to pawn shops don’t be so ignorant!!!

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