Tag Archives: Lincoln Stoddard Army Reserve Center

Former Reservist Charged in Army Reserve Armory Weapons Heist

FBI officials have announced that 34-year-old former Army reservist James Walker Morales was arrested on Wednesday in connection with a Nov. 14 weapons heist at the Lincoln Stoddard Army Reserve Center in Worcester, Mass.

After the five-hour late-night weapons heist, 10 9-mm pistols and 6 M-4 rifles had gone missing.

[RELATED: FBI Says Weapons Were Stolen During Break-In at U.S. Army Reserve Armory in Mass.]

The FBI criminal complaint notes that Morales has been charged with unlawful possession of a machine gun, unlawful possession of stolen firearms, and theft of government property.

According to Mass Live, Morales is also facing unrelated charges of rape of a child and indecent assault and battery on a person under 14 stemming from an incident earlier this year. At the time of the alleged heist, Morales was reportedly wearing an electronic monitoring device in connection with those charges which investigators used to determine that he was at the Lincoln Stoddard Army Reserve Center. He allegedly removed the device the day after the heist.

Morales has a prior conviction for aggravated assault and battery on his record.

CBS Boston is reporting that investigators say that Morales, who had been to the facility two days before to pick up discharge documents, breached the armory through a kitchen window and used a saw to gain entry to the weapons vault.

FBI officials say that DNA evidence found at the scene matches Morales.

As of right now, five of the six M-4 assault rifles and four of the ten M-11 pistols (Sig Sauer, 9MM) are back in the hands of law enforcement,” read an FBI statement cited by CBS Boston. “The FBI is working aggressively, along with our federal, state and local law enforcement partners across the region, to recover the remaining seven weapons.

Three of the weapons were reportedly found in a bag outside of Yankee Stadium in New York City by a homeless person, who reported the discovery to police.

Morales is not known to have any links to terrorism.

FBI Says Weapons Were Stolen During Break-In at U.S. Army Reserve Armory in Mass.

Police officials from local agencies and the Federal Bureau of Investigation are probing a break-in that occurred on Saturday at the Lincoln Stoddard Army Reserve Center in Worcester, Mass.

WCBV notes that an FBI spokesperson said that weapons went missing from a secure vault after the break-in on the facility. Military officials confirmed that 16 weapons were taken during the burglary, including six M4 rifles and ten 9-mm handguns.

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FBI spokesperson Kristen Setera said according to WMUR, “We have entered those weapons into NCIC, a national database, and alerted our federal, state and local law enforcement partners.” She added, “There is no indication that these missing weapons are connected to any kind of terrorism threat whatsoever. Nevertheless, every effort will be made to recover these weapons immediately.

CBS Boston is reporting that the weapons heist, which started at 6 p.m. on Saturday and lasted around five hours, was caught on surveillance video. The suspect was reportedly able to enter the facility through the roof without tripping an alarm, as the facility’s alarm system had been disabled due to a construction project.

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Police officials are looking for one suspect, a light-skinned, stocky man between 5’7”-5’10” in height driving a dark-colored late-model BMW hatchback with sport rims.

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker said, “I’m especially concerned about it. Separate and apart from anything that has to do with terrorism, I’m concerned about the fact that some really high caliber weapons were stolen from a military facility in the first place.

Military officials said that this is the first time that a burglar has stolen weapons from one of the Army’s 5,000 armories.

Worcester City Manager Edward Augustus said that local police will increase patrols in the area as a precautionary measure.