View Full Version : Medals stolen from Yorktown museum

06-30-04, 11:29 AM
Posted on Wed, Jun. 30, 2004

Medals stolen from Yorktown museum

Associated Press

MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. - Seven Medals of Honor have been stolen from the Yorktown aircraft carrier's Medal of Honor museum at Patriots Point.

Police think the medals, some of which were donated by widows of the honored servicemen, were stolen sometime between 7:30 p.m. Sunday and 7:30 a.m. Monday.

David Burnette, executive director of Patriots Point, said the theft is a "disgusting action considering what it takes to receive a Medal of Honor. ... Whoever took them doesn't realize how important it is to have them here and on display."

One of the medals dates back to the Civil War, the first military conflict in which the Medal of Honor was awarded.

About 7:30 a.m. Monday, a custodian noticed the large glass case that held the medals had been broken into and that the medals were missing, according to Burnette. The custodian alerted museum officials who called police.

The museum was closed at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, but police and museum officials say it's possible the theft occurred during operating hours. The Yorktown receives about 1,500 to 2,000 visitors on Sundays in the summer.

Although the museum closed at 7:30 p.m., the museum door was not secured by the two security guards on duty, according to police. Police and the FBI say it's unclear why the door was left unlocked. Burnette said there is a possibility that a locking mechanism on the door was not secured properly.

The FBI is involved because attempting to sell a Medal of Honor is a federal offense. Because of the sentimental value of the medals, there is a presumption of interstate transportation, according to Agent Steve Grimaldi of the FBI.

So far, officials have no suspects. The authorities are monitoring online auction sites such as eBay and notifying area antique dealers.