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Police crack the case of the returned rifle

March 15, 2018 News Extra

Christopher L. Anthony

CENTER TWP — Two years after a competition rifle was stolen and then was mysteriously returned to its owner, state police say they have solved the case.

The alleged thief, it turns out, has more than a dozen felony convictions. He's also awaiting trial on five other felony cases.

The defendant, Christopher L. Anthony, 34, who has a last known address of Chicora, was already being held in the Butler County Prison when police arrested him Friday on the latest charges

District Judge Lewis Stoughton arraigned Anthony on two counts each of theft and receiving stolen property and one count of illegal possession of a firearm, all felonies,

He was later returned to the prison with bail set at $50,000 bail on the new charges.

Police began their investigation March 12, 2016, according to court documents, after a BAT Machine Co. 6 mm rifle was reported stolen from a car at the owner's home on Mahood Road in Center Township.

Also taken from the vehicle were two scopes, a gun case, holster and camera tripod

About a month later, with few clues and no leads in their investigation, police got a call from the owner: the gun had been returned. Someone left it in his driveway.

Police never closed the case and eventually got a tip in January that broke the case wide open.

To find out more, read Sunday's Butler Eagle.