Man facing charge in theft of WWII relics in Muskegon

Muskegon County
security image of man walking on LST 393

A surveillance image posted by USS LST 393 Veterans Museum shows the man police want to talk to in connection to the Aug. 3 thefts. (USS LST 393 Veterans Museum/Facebook)

MUSKEGON, Mich. (WOOD) — The Muskegon County Prosecutor’s Office has filed a charge against a man suspected of stealing World War II memorabilia off a warship docked in downtown Muskegon.

Muskegon County Prosecutor DJ Hilson says 61-year-old John Anthony Zaputil should be arraigned sometime this week on a larceny charge.

Muskegon police suspect Zaputil stole more than a dozen historic items from the floating museum on Aug. 3. The USS LST 393 says the thief took hats, buttons, medals, patches and other items that were on display.

Several of the pins and patches were taken directly off Margaret Tolar’s Air Force uniform, which is on display.

veterans uniform missing medals and patches
An Aug. 14, 2019 photo shows the uniform a thief stripped of medals and patches during a visit aboard the USS LST 393 Veterans Museum. (Aug. 14, 2019)

A surveillance photo of the suspect the veterans museum shared on Aug. 14 helped lead to Zaputil.

The USS LST 393 says Muskegon police are confident the missing relics can be returned.

If convicted, Zaputil faces up to four years in prison.

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