HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — A Colt Whitneyville-Walker revolver has been returned to the Connecticut State Museum — decades after it was stolen.
“It’s incredible to have an object return after going missing for over 50 years,” Jennifer Matos, the museum’s administrator, said in the written announcement. “So much work went into the investigation that led to its recovery, and we are extremely grateful to everyone involved.”
The revolver was one of 50 artifacts recovered by the FBI’s Crime Team, according to an announcement on Thursday. The FBI held a repatriation ceremony on Monday at the Museum of the American Revolution in Philadelphia to reunite 16 organizations with items that had been stolen from them.
The artifacts were stolen during the 1970s and were tracked down after a 14-year investigation, according to the Connecticut State Library Museum of Connecticut History. The revolver was taken in 1971.
The FBI began investigating the thefts after receiving a tip in 2009 that weapons had been stolen from the Valley Forge Historical Society. Detectives then uncovered that the theft was linked to others that took place between 1968 and 1979.
FBI agents served a search warrant in 2017 at Michael Corbett’s Delaware home, where they found stolen historic weapons, according to the state library. Last August, he took pleaded guilty and turned over items that he’d stolen — including the Colt Whitneyville-Walker revolver.
The revolver was donated to the museum in 1957. The gun had been owned by Col. Samuel Colt.