Guns stolen from tornado-damaged Minneapolis homeAfter a tornado hit North Minneapolis on Sunday, burglars reportedly stole more than $6,300 worth of WWII guns and other military equipment from a dark home.
By: Maricella Miranda, St. Paul Pioneer Press / MCT
History buffs aren't the only ones interested in World War II memorabilia.
After a tornado hit North Minneapolis on Sunday, burglars reportedly stole more than $6,300 worth of WWII guns and other military equipment from a dark home.
The missing weapons are an auto-ordnance, 1911, 45 pistol and a 9mm MP-40 semi-auto machine gun, said owner Scott Steben. The machine gun is a federally regulated weapon, and is registered with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
"I hope these guns aren't used," said Steben, 47.
The guns are props for war re-enactments, he said, but they still work.
North Minneapolis has seen a slight increase in burglaries since the tornado hit, said Minneapolis police Sgt. Stephen McCarty. Officers plan to step-up patrols in the area to discourage property damage, thefts, burglaries and looting.
"All of these burglaries will be investigated to ensure that these are legitimate burglaries ..." and not people reporting the crimes for ulterior motives, McCarty said.
During the cleanup, police will be asking anyone loitering in North Minneapolis to leave. They also will be escorting city staff, emergency responders and work crews.
The goal is to ensure residents' safety during the storm recovery.
So far, one looting incident has been reported, McCarty said. About 20 looters stole cash, booze, and cigarettes Sunday from Broadway Liquor Outlet after the storm smashed a storefront window. But that incident happened
before police were mobilized, he said.
Police have no suspects in Steben's home burglary. Stolen guns on the streets raises concerns for police, but the case will be investigated like other burglaries, McCarty said.
Steben -- and his WWII weapons and memorabilia -- were at a WWII re-enactment in Farmington when the tornado hit. The home burglary happened later Sunday night.
With electrical lines down around his house, there was no electricity.
After Steben unloaded his vehicle, he said he quickly left the house to catch a late-night dinner with his family. He usually locks his guns in a safe, but not this time.
When he returned, his backdoor was open.
Along with his guns, the burglars took his laptop computer, a WWII canvas pack that holds gun magazines and a camouflage helmet, Steben said.
Some of the items he bought 20 years ago. Although the guns are more than 70 years old, it's not difficult to find bullets for them, he said.
Steben was in the process of getting renters insurance, but was uninsured at the time, he said. He plans to eventually replace the items slowly -- if they're not returned.
"It's so darn expensive," Steben said.
Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.