Adams County antique dealer helps solve decades-old museum thefts

Decades-Old Museum Burglaries Solved With Help From Adams County Antique Dealer



>> WE WATCH THE OERTER RIE. THIS IS THE REVOLVER OF THE BENGAL ARMY. 1851 NAVY MOL COLT. CURATORS AT PHILADELPHIA’S BARBA:AR MUSEUM IN SUSQUEHANNA VALLEY CELEBRATE THE RETURN OF HISTORIC ARTIFACTS – MISSING FOR FIFTY OR MORE YEARS. >> YOU THINK AFTER FIFTY YEARS, THEY’RE GONE FOREVER. >>>> THIS WILL MAKE A REALLY INTERESTING FILM. BARBARA: VALERIE SEIBER GAVE US A RARE LOOK INSIDE THE LLCOECTIONS AREA, AT THE HERSHEY STORY MUSEUM. >> WE UNBOXED THEM R UFO FOR THE FIRST TIME. FOR US TO SEE THEM FOR THE VERY FIRST TIME ITS INCREDIE.BL BARBARA: A BRAZEN THIEF STOLE THESE REVOLVERS AND A NATIVE AMERICAN CONCHO BELT. >> THEY ARE BEAUTIFUL. AMAZING CRAFTSMANSHIP. BARBARA: IN THE LATE 1960S AND EARLY 1970S FROM WHAT WAS THEN THE HERSHEY MUSEUM. >> SINCE THAT TIME I DON’T KNOW WHERE THEY HAVE BEEN. RBBAARA: ALMOST AT THE SAME TIME, THE THIEF EMERGES FROM THE LANDIS VALLEY GUNSP WITHOUT SEVERAL GUNS. >> THE CONDITIONS UNDER WHICH HE ALLOWS TO TAKE ARMS NO LONGER APPLY. >> MUSEUMS WERE NOT SO STRICT AT THIS POINT. P BARBARA: THEN THERE IS THE GUN. >> WE ARE SUPPOSED TO BE A SECURE CASE OF RELEASE. BARBARA: BUT HE WAS RAISED FROM VALLEY FORGE IN 1971. >> HE WAS SUPPOSED TO BE IN A REALLY SECURE SE.CA. BARBARA: THE RIFLE HAS PROVEN TO BE KEY TO RECOVERY, COURT DOCUMENTS SHOW HIS VUEAL IS AT LEAST 175,000. IT IS NOW ON EXHIBITIN PHILADELPHIA. >> TO TELL THEIR STORIES, TELL PEOPLE HOW ITEMS WERE USED TTS SO IMPORTANT. BARBARA: THE FBI AND LOCAL POLICE NEVER DROP DOWN THE COLD CASE. ONE DAY THEY GOT THE BREAK HE NEEDED. >> KELLY’S GOOD CITIZENSHIP IS WHY WE ARE SITTING HERE TODAY. BARBARA: ADAMS COUNTY DEERAL ANTIQUES PUT INVESTIGATORS ON THE MAN BEHIND ALL HEISTS, THOS GAVIN. THE RIFLES, REVOLVERS AND OTHER ITEMS IN THE THOMAS GAVIN STOWELL MUSEUM WERE DEAD IN THIS BARN IN BARDSTOWN, UNTIL ONE DAY HE DECIDED HE WANT TO SELL MESO DE T IHETEMS. >> BECAUSE THE PRICE WAS RIGHT. BARBARA: HE UNKNOWINGLY PURCHASED THE FMRO GAVIN SHOTGUN THINKING IT WAS A COPY. UNTIL HDID DOES SOME INVESTIGATIONS ON ITS OWN. >> IT’S JUST ICONIC. BARBARA: HE AND HIS LAWYER DID INVESTIGATORS. >> I’M SURE IT WAS A SURPRISE FOR MR. GAV.IN >> IN SOME CASES THEY WERE PURE CRIMES OF OPPORTUNI.TY IN OTHER CASES HE MAY HAVE SEEN SOMETHING, SEEN A WAY HE MIGHT BE ABLE TO GO BACK AND GET IT LATER. BARBARA: THE DETECTOR SAYS GAVIN SHOWED REMORSE, AND HE ALLOWS THEM TO TRACK THE ARTIFACTS STOLEN BY OERTH. >> MANY TIMES INDIVIDUALS STOLE THESE IMPORTANT ITEMS OF AMERICAN HISTORY FOR THEIR OWN PERSONAL BENEFIT AND TO KEEP AND HOLD THEM. BARBARA: NOW 79 AND ILL, GAVIN HAS PLEADED GUILTY TO DISPOSING OF A CULTURAL HERITAGE OBJECT. A JUDGE SENTENCED HIM TO A DAY IN FEDERAL JAIL, HOUSE ARRTES AND PROBATION. >> HE IS MONUMENTAL, IN SHUC RECOVERY TESRM – SO MANY IMPORTANT PIECES FOR THIS PART OF THE COUNTRY.RY BARBARA: BARBARA BARR, WGAL

Decades-Old Museum Burglaries Solved With Help From Adams County Antique Dealer

Half a century ago, a thief stole dozens of artifacts from museums in Pennsylvania and on the East Coast. Investigators eventually solved the cold case with the help of an Adams County antique dealer. WGAL News 8’s Barbara Barr was there as the historic items were returned to their rightful owners. Watch the video above to learn more. Watch the video below to find out what informed the antiques dealer of a famous gun that cracked the case.

Half a century ago, a thief stole dozens of artifacts from museums in Pennsylvania and on the East Coast.

Investigators eventually solved the cold case with the help of an Adams County antique dealer.

WGAL News 8’s Barbara Barr was there when the historic items were returned to their rightful owners. Watch the video above to learn more.

Watch the video below to find out what informed the antiques dealer of a famous gun that cracked the case.

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