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ECSO Search for Stolen Guns and Ammunition from Local Home

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EFFINGHAM COUNTY -

Topping tonight's crime and safety report -- an Effingham County man did everything he could to keep his collection of guns safe, but Monday he fell victim to a burglary, and now the weapons are missing.

Now he's making a desperate plea to get them back, before they are used in other crimes.

You've probably seen those heavy safes people keep in their home. Well the thieves didn't just steal one from the victim, they stole three.

And they are filled with every kind of collector's fire arm you could imagine.

"My girlfriend's daughter came home from school and saw that someone had been in the house."

To Mark Malke's horror, all three of his Browning safes were missing.

"It's someone that has been to the house before, someone that knows us pretty well. It would have took several people to do this because the safes are very heavy. One was over 1000 pounds it's self."

The items taken, Malke says are rare and should be easily identified. They are not your average hunting rifles, some are high powered.

"There was had guns, rifles, a lot of ammunition. A lot of personal things I had when I was a kid, coin collections, stamps, titles to vehicles. Keys, I identity, tax returns…"

It's a big concern for the Effingham County Sheriff's Office. Spokesman, David Ehsanipoor says chances are, if not found, the guns could be used in other crimes.

"(Malke) legally possessed these guns, everything he had was legal. He did have them secured properly, they were in a safe and it's not every day someone is going to come in and take a one-thousand pound, fire proof gun safe. It's going to go to something that is not legal."

For Malke, some of the antique guns are priceless. The only thing that matters is making sure they are found fast.

"It makes me sick. I work really hard for what I have and it's completely gone. It's one of those friends, they smile to your face and behind your back, and you know the rest. We are not dealing with electronics or TVs; we are talking about guns that are going to get on the street."

Malke is offering a $10,000 reward to anyone who can give information that might lead to an arrest in this case.

If you know anything, you are asked to call the Effingham County Sheriff's Office at 912-754-3449.

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