December 12, 2008

New Town man offers $3,000 reward in weapons heist

New Town man offers $3,000 reward in weapons heist

By MARVIN BAKER

A New Town family returned from a Thanksgiving vacation Sunday night only to find their home had been robbed of numerous weapons and other items including about $1,000 worth of coins.

Guy Slates told the New Town News Monday that rifles, pistols, electronic equipment, coins and a safe all worth approximately $17,000 were stolen from his home northeast of town.

Slates said a yard light was broken out sometime between Nov. 22 and Nov. 30, and thieve(s) entered the house from a window they broke out on the west side of the dwelling.

"They left an acoustic guitar in a case, power tools were laying around and my wife’s jewelry was untouched," Slates said. "All they wanted were the guns."

Most of the 10 weapons taken were antique, including two Winchester rifles that were given to Slates’ from his grandfather. In all, three Winchesters were missing, two dating back to 1873 and one dated 1892.

Slates said two of the Winchester rifles had identical handmade cases and a photograph of the case is displayed in an advertisement on page 8 in this edition of the newspaper in case anyone comes across the case.

A shotgun and three pistols were also stolen, however, Slates said he had ammunition near the weapons in the house that wasn’t disturbed.

"It was all setting right there. They didn’t take any bullets," Slates said.

Additionally, a Westinghouse, 32-inch flat screen TV was taken along with a Sony camcorder, a fireproof safe with the brand name "The Protector" that was filled with European coins and about 200 Indian head nickels, and three jars of coins worth approximately $300 in each jar.

"The three jars of coins, oh, they’re heavy," Slates said. "And the safe weighed about 300 pounds and they took the biggest TV."

Slates believes the additional items stolen may have been a decoy for someone who was looking specifically for weapons.

"They had to know exactly what they were doing and where they were going," Slates said. "Those two Winchesters belonged to my grandparents."

Serial numbers were turned into tribal police and the Mountrail County Sheriff’s Department for tracking purposes and in case the perpetrator(s) try to sell the stolen merchandise.


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