Theft victim seeks miniature guns' return

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A Warren man is offering a reward for information that helps him or the police recover a priceless collection of miniature guns, knives and other items stolen from his home in late January.

Mike Mirman of Market Street remembers feeling sick when he realized that someone had broken into his home and taken his miniatures, many of which are irreplaceable, one of a kind items that he's owned for decades. His guns — most no longer than a few inches in length, but all fully functional — were stored in several places inside his home, and when he first walked in the door that day and noticed a miniature cannon missing, he figured a friend had taken it.

"Then I went and looked for the guns and they were gone," he said.

Stolen from Mr. Mirman's home were two cannons, at least 22 miniature guns, about 20 more miniature knives and other items, including some tools and several precious fly-tying vises. He has no idea who took the items, but believes it had to have been someone he knows, or someone who knows his acquaintances.

"They knew right where to go for them," he said.

Mr. Mirman called Warren police on Jan. 26, and detectives have been working ever since to try to track down the guns. Mr. Mirman is also offering a $1,000 reward for information that leads to the guns' return and has contacted the National Rifle Association and the Miniature Arms Society, a group of which he's a member. The society plans on putting a notice about the theft in its quarterly newsletter, and will spread the word at upcoming shows. There is a thriving market for miniature guns, and many sell from several hundred dollars to many thousands.

"They won't be able to sell them at shows," Mr. Mirman said. "And these aren't the kind of things you'd pawn for $50."

The guns, all hand-made, have been a hobby of Mr. Mirman's for decades. Many are worth thousands of dollars, and the level of detail on them is nothing short of amazing. Several of his pieces are no larger than quarters or half dollars, yet are fully functional. Mr. Mirman said he's always marveled at the craftsmanship, attention to detail and care that goes into miniature firearms. He bought many of them but has also built several himself.

"It's just terrible," he said of the theft.

Mr. Mirman can be reached at 245-0173.

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