FBI: Suspect Arrested In Theft Of Guns From Worcester Army Reserve Armory

A former Army reservist out on bail on a child rape charge broke into a Massachusetts armory last weekend and stole 16 guns, the FBI said Thursday, and he got caught because he was wearing a GPS monitoring bracelet.

James Walker Morales, 34, of Cambridge, was arrested Wednesday on Long Island, New York. He's scheduled to make an appearance in federal court on Friday, according to the FBI.

Six M4 assault rifles and 10 Sig Sauer M11 handguns were stolen from the Lincoln Stoddard Army Reserve Center in Worcester last weekend. Surveillance video from a nearby business shows a man making several trips between the reserve center and a vehicle parked nearby over a six-hour period Saturday night into Sunday morning. On several occasions, he can be seen carrying duffel bags.

The FBI has said that the theft is not related to terrorism, but officials did not disclose a possible motive.

Morales gained access to the facility through a kitchen window, and then broke into the gun vault by climbing on top of it and using a cutting tool and pry bar to get through several layers of metal and wood, the FBI affidavit says.

The electronic monitoring bracelet placed Morales "directly inside" the facility, and blood left at the scene matched his DNA, the FBI said. He cut off the bracelet Monday but was tracked to New York through his cellphones, authorities said.

Morales had last been seen at the Worcester facility last Thursday to obtain copies of his discharge papers. Federal authorities described him as a former Army reservist but did not provide any additional information on his service and did not say whether the guns had been recovered.

In May, Morales was charged with aggravated rape of a child and indecent assault and battery on a person under age 14, according to Allison Brown, assistant district attorney in Middlesex County. The circumstances of that case were not immediately available.

Morales now also faces federal charges of unlawful possession of a machine gun, unlawful possession of stolen firearms, and theft of government property. It could not immediately be determined if he has a lawyer who could comment on his behalf.

This article was originally published on November 19, 2015.



More from WBUR

Listen Live