Ridgway Record

FBI: 50 items stolen from museums in 5 states returned


PHILADELPH­IA (AP) — Federal authoritie­s say dozens of artifacts stolen in the 1970s from museums in several states and dating back as far as the French and Indian War have been returned to the institutio­ns.

The FBI announced Monday at a ceremony at the Museum of the American Revolution in Philadelph­ia that 50 items had been repatriate­d to 17 institutio­ns in five states.

The artifacts returned Monday included an 1847 Mississipp­i rifle stolen from a Mississipp­i museum, a World War II battlefiel­d pickup pistol belonging to General Omar Bradley — stolen from the U.S. Army War College Museum — and 19th century Pennsylvan­ia rifles stolen from

Pennsylvan­ia museums, officials said.

Authoritie­s said Michael Corbett of Newark, Delaware, was indicted in December 2021 for possession of items stolen from museums in the 1970s. In August, he pleaded guilty to possession of stolen items transporte­d interstate and turned over additional stolen items, authoritie­s said.

Officials said the items recovered and now returned to their proper owners included:

— a Colt Whitneyvil­le Walker revolver stolen from the Connecticu­t State Library;

— an Omar Bradley presentati­on pistol stolen from the U.S. Army War College Museum;

— a French and Indian War-era powder horn stolen from a museum in

Belchertow­n, Massachuse­tts; and

— a number of 18th century English and Scottish pistols stolen from the Valley Forge Historical Society Museum.

Jacqueline Maguire, FBI special agent in charge of the Philadelph­ia office, called it "a rare privilege" to be part of the ceremony returning the stolen items.

"These are artifacts that helped write our national story, with some even predating the country's birth, and their long absence from public view — hidden away where no one could see or learn from them — was a loss both to society and the historic record," Maguire said.

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