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Montgomery County man, 78, sentenced in theft and sale of rare 1775 rifle

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PHILADELPHIA - A 78-year-old Montgomery County man has been sentenced in the theft and sale of a rare antique rifle, dating to 1775.United States Attorney Jennifer Arbittier Williams made the announcement Tuesday, stating 78-year-old Thomas Gavin, of Pottstown, pleaded guilty in July of disposal of an object of cultural heritage stolen from a museum.As part of the plea, Williams explained, Gavin admitted to stealing the Christian Oerter rifle from the Valley Forge State Park Museum in 1971.

He went on to admit he sold the rare artifact in 2018, along with other items he had stolen from museums in the 1970’s, after hanging on to the rifle for nearly 40 years.MORE HEADLINES:The rifle is rare, dating to 1775 and made by master gunsmith.

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