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Man Arrested In Weekend Theft Of 16 Guns From Army Reserve Armory In Massachusetts

A man has been arrested in connection with the weekend theft of 16 guns from a Massachusetts Army Reserve armory.

According to the FBI affidavit, authorities arrested 34-year-old James Morales, who is out on bail on charges of child rape and indecent assault on a child under 14 years old, in New York on Wednesday.

The affidavit says DNA evidence from blood found at the scene and information from Morales' electronic monitoring bracelet led to his apprehension. The document charges him with unlawful possession of a machine gun and unlawful possession of stolen firearms.

The theft occurred over several hours Saturday night and Sunday morning in Worcester, Mass. The missing weapons include 10 9mm pistols and six M-4 rifles.

According to the affidavit, the perpetrator gained access to the building by breaking a window of a kitchen and then used a power saw and pry bar to cut through the ceiling of the weapons vault. Surveillance video shows a man make several trips between the building and a car during the time of the theft. The charging document also says that Morales' electronic monitoring bracelet places him directly in the facility from which the guns were stolen.

Morales had been at the facility the previous Thursday to get copies of his discharge papers. The local CBS affiliate says he was a former Army reservist.

Though the crime happened when the country was on edge following the Paris terrorist attacks, the FBI said that there was "no indication" that the thefts were connected to terrorism, according to The Boston Globe.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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