Majority of artifacts stolen from Camden County Museum in 2016 returned

Published: Apr. 15, 2020 at 5:24 PM CDT
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Nearly four years ago, two men broke into the Camden County Museum in Linn Creek.

"It's an old school building. The back doors were pretty old at the time, and they just had a security chain on the push bars inside," said Linn Cfreek Police Sgt. David Stark.

The other man cut through the wood on the front door to make his way inside.

The two men, Jesse Hansen and Jason Konwinski stole a muzzleloader and its display case, 151 arrowheads, and a World War II-era Hawaiian dollar bill.

"We believe they saw that, they thought they were going to get gold out of the stock of that gun, and they ended up burning it," Stark added.

The dollar bill was never found, but more than 130 arrowheads were found at a home in Eldon, where the homeowner said he was given them as payment for car repair. Police say he didn't know they were stolen.

Those arrowheads were returned to the museum Wednesday. .

"I think it's wonderful, I really do. It is just marvelous to have it back," said Kit Kitterman, the museum's treasurer.

All of the arrowheads are originally from Camden County, some dating back thousands of years.

"This is what is called a Dalton," said Kitterman holding up one of the arrowheads. "And, it's probably over 10,000 years old."

When everything was stolen in 2016, Kitterman says the arrowheads were worth about $9,000. Now, it's likely worth close to $11,000. She said they gain about five percent in value every year.

So what's next? Kitterman says she has a lot of work cut out for her.

"I have to re-identify all of these," Kitterman laughed.

Both Hansen and Konwinski were arrested in 2018 and pleaded guilty to the burglary. Stark said even though the arrowheads were found in 2017, they couldn't be released from evidence until at least 180 days after both men made their guilty pleas, in case of an appeal. Stark said the courts were also backed up.

Kitterman expects the arrowheads to be back on display when the museum can reopen after the coronavirus pandemic. Right now, the museum is closed until at least May 1.