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Owenton City Councilman Larry Dale Perry began collecting swords when he was just in the seventh grade, but following a weekend break-in at a local storage unit, Perry’s prized collection could be gone forever.
Police said the break-ins took place Sunday afternoon with locks being broken on five different units. The storage units are located on Ellis Road across from the Owen County Fairgrounds and owned by Mark Baldwin.
Perry said about 27 swords were being stored in his unit and were inside army duffle bags.
“It was a military sword collection,” Perry said. “I had a Japanese military sword, five Civil War swords and five German SS swords.”
Some of the swords had black onyx and real rubies in them, Perry said.
“I’m not trying to exaggerate, but in today’s market the collection would probably be worth $400,000,” Perry said.
Owen County Sheriff Zemer Hammond said the alleged thieves took bolt cutters to cut the locks off in broad daylight.
“As far as we know there wasn’t but one (unit) that had anything missing so far,” Hammond said. “The rest didn’t have anything missing. Our deputy that was out there said it happened between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. (Sept. 9).”
One sword taken from Perry’s unit was made from B52 airplane glass from WWII.
“I would know them if I saw them,” Perry said. “But I don’t think you’ll see them around.”
Perry said although his sword collection meant a lot to him, he also enjoyed sharing them with the community at various events.
“It’s not so much the money value,” Perry said. “There was a story behind each one and I’ve had them on display at the historical society, Sweet Owen Day and the Monterey Fair.”
Hammond said the break-in is under investigation by his office.