Robbers attack PA gun collectors home, leave with 31 guns

PITTSBURGH Thu Jul 3, 2014 5:07pm EDT

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PITTSBURGH (Reuters) - Robbers attacked an elderly gun collector in his western Pennsylvania home and escaped with an arsenal of 31 firearms, at least 14 of which are still missing.

Three armed men wearing masks kicked in the door of the 71-year-old man's house in Sharon, 75 miles northwest of Pittsburgh, at around 12:30 a.m. Wednesday and took firearms including an AK-47, handguns, rifles, shotguns, other semi-automatic weapons, ammunition and historic pistols, police chief Michael Menster said Thursday.

The robbers tied the gun collector up, ransacked his house and locked him in a closet. They also stole a television and stereo. When they left, the man was able to escape and call 911, Menster said.

Later that day, police arrested Chad Runyan, 23, of Sharpsville, Pennsylvania, and Stevie Dean, 24, of South Bend, Indiana, and charged them with receiving stolen property. Dean has also been charged with escape and resisting arrest.

Seventeen weapons were seized from the two men, but Menster could not say if the guns used to commit the crime were recovered and did not know if the collector was targeted for his weaponry. He said more charges and arrests are expected.

Both men were being held in the Mercer County Jail.

"I understand that it's Fourth of July weekend, and our biggest concern is that those guns are recovered and that they don't find their way into the hands of other criminals," said Menster.

(Editing by Edith Honan)

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