Police in Ohio are on the case of a burglary that targeted a veterans’ organization and netted nine WWII-era M1 Garand rifles.
The Trumbull County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the loss suffered by VFW Post 7200 in Farmington Township on Saturday night after a thief broke in through a cinderblock wall and left with three safes, containing not only the Army-owned rifles, used for ceremonies, but also an unreleased amount of cash.
“Obviously they’re valuable. They have sentimental value to those men who use them at the VFW Hall,” Trumbull County Detective Sergeant Mike Yannucci told local media about the rifles.
Bob Anspach, the post’s quartermaster, says eight of the guns were set up to fire blanks and called the loss “devastating.”
The Army’s Ceremonial Rifle Program is supported by the Civilian Marksmanship Program who services rifles for veterans’ groups. The Army previously advised Guns.com an estimated 31,000 rifles are on loan to groups such as the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, and Disabled American Veterans. The military retains ownership of the firearms, distributes safety and storage guidelines, and ships blank rounds to groups for use in events such as memorial services and funerals. Organizations using such loaned rifles have to report their inventory every three years to the Army and inform the service of any losses within 24 hours.
Those with any information on the case are encouraged to contact the Trumbull County Sheriff at 330-675-7087.