The Secret Service here has recovered nine antique revolvers worth nearly $100,000 that were stolen last week from the Hall of Fame Museum for the Texas Rangers in Waco.
The guns were found early Sunday after uniformed Secret Service officers stopped a "suspicious" car being driven by Lou Anthony Bellone, 28, of Austin, and spotted three old-fashioned pistols on the front seat. Bellone was being held yesterday in D.C. Jail on $5,000 bond after Texas officials issued a warrant for his arrest in connection with the theft of the guns.
Waco police Sgt. Dennis Kidwell said 11 guns were stolen Aug. 2 from the one-story museum.
The entire set of pistols was insured for nearly $70,000, he said, but collectors of such weapons believe they could easily be sold for $100,000. The stolen revolvers were manufactured in the 1850s and some have silver-plated barrels and ornate, solid silver or ivory grips with engravings depicting battles and American eagles.
The arrest occurred after a Secret Service officer reported seeing a car cruising the area near the French Chancery at 2535 Belmont Rd. NW about 2 a.m. Sunday and checked the license plate number. Another officer stopped Bellone a few blocks away when it was discovered that the 1972 Cadillac he was driving had been reported stolen in Austin.
Kidwell said the Waco museum is also used as a bunkhouse for Texas Rangers, but that no one was there the night of the burglary. The break-in occurred at 6 a.m., a half hour after the museum guard left for the day, Kidwell said, and the burglar alarm system on the glass display case containing the guns failed to work.
A D.C. Superior Court judge ordered Bellone to undergo psychiatric tests to determine his competency to appear at an extradition hearing next week. CAPTION: Picture, A pistol of silver-plated steel with a Tiffany grip, valued at $35,000, is one of nine antique revolvers stolen last week in Texas and recovered by the Secret Service. By Margaret Thomas -- The Washington Post