A pair of Medford men were arrested Friday for reportedly stealing several guns, including antique rifles and pistols.
The arrests stemmed from a burglary reported on Thursday morning. The victim said someone broke into his apartment on Brookhurst Street and made off with $2,000 worth of firearms and coins, police said.
On Friday, a concerned citizen phoned police saying that a man approached him and offered to sell him some antique guns, Medford police Lt. Mike Budreau said.
"The citizen had heard of the gun thefts on news reports and contacted us," Budreau said.
The citizen gave police the first name and description of the suspect. He also knew the general area in which the suspicious gun-seller lived, Budreau said.
The suspect's home was known to police from earlier in the week.
"We had been to that residence to question a potential suspect in a ring of mail thefts that have occurred in the area," Budreau said.
The man was identified as William Sandercock, 21, who lives on Brookhurst Street. Sandercock lived near the victim.
After questioning Sandercock, police learned that another man was involved in the burglary.
They then made contact with Randall Dean Kirby, 31, who lives in a trailer on Riverside Avenue. Officers found all of the stolen firearms inside the trailer, Budreau said.
The guns taken were black powder muzzle loaders and antique replicas. They include a .50-caliber flintlock pistol, a six-shot .44-caliber carbine rifle, a .50-caliber Blue Ridge flintlock rifle, a .54-caliber single-shot traditional Hawken percussion rifle with a red rifle sleeve, red band midpoint and leather sling, a 12-gauge single-shot New England shotgun, a World War I era .22-caliber nine-shot revolver, and a pair of .44-caliber revolvers.
"We believe these two were involved with methamphetamine and that's why they stole the guns," Budreau said. "They intended to sell them."
Sandercock was arrested on charges of first-degree burglary, nine counts of identity theft and possession of meth.
The identity theft charges stemmed from several credit cards found inside Sandercock's home. The cards were fraudulently opened in the gun theft victim's name. Police believe Sandercock had stolen the man's mail earlier and opened the credit accounts.
Kirby was charged with first-degree theft, second-degree theft, and being a felon in possession of a firearm.
"We are glad we were able to find these guns early before they were sold to several people," Budreau said. "We had hoped to find them all in one place like this."