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Rare firearms stolen from traveling museum
Written by Hector Gutierrez
Denver Rocky Mountain News Staff Writer
August 20, 2000

Denver police were searching Saturday for vintage 
firearms that were stolen from a traveling museum.

Among the collectible weapons stolen Friday from
the Greater Museum of Military and Period
Antiques Inc. were 12 rare rifles, shotguns and
automatic rifles manufactured during the 1800s
and early 1900s and used by troops during World
War I and WWII.

The thieves also took seven Magnum handguns,
including a .44-caliber Ruger black powder, a
.44-caliber Colt Anaconda, a .45-caliber Ruger
Blackhawk and an 1847 .44-caliber Colt Walker.

The guns still can be fired, which worries Todd
Von Bender, the museum's curator.

"Whose hands are they going into?" Von Bender
said. "Most handguns are designed to handle
modern cartridges."

Von Bender said at least one of the stolen
weapons, a Lefever shotgun, could pose a danger
to the person firing it. Modern ammunition would
cause the gun to explode, Von Bender said.

The Lefever 12-gauge, with a 30-inch barrel, is the
most expensive antique stolen from the
collection. It is valued at $3,500.

Some of the firearms were foreign-made and
would be extremely hard to replace, Von Bender
said. They include rifles and guns manufactured
in Germany, Belgium, Chile, Venezuela and Argentina.

The stolen guns are valued at more than $20,000.

Von Bender's museum is offering a reward for 
information leading to the return of the gun collection 
or the arrest and conviction of those responsible.

For Information Call: (303) 363-6000.

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