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