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Philly Museum Thieves Get 4 Years

July 16, 1998

PHILADELPHIA (AP) _ A museum janitor and another man were sentenced to four years in prison Thursday for stealing up to $3 million in Civil War-era artifacts, including John Brown’s rifle and a Union general’s sword.

Earnest Medford, 48, and George Csizmazia, 56, took the hundreds of items from the Historical Society of Pennsylvania.

Medford, a janitor at the museum for 20 years, met Csizmazia, an electrician, when he worked there, too. Medford began selling artifacts to Csizmazia, a collector of Civil War items, for a fraction of their value.

Csizmazia paid less than $8,000 for all of the items, the FBI said. All but about 100 were recovered from his home.

The items included a sword presented to Gen. George Meade after the Battle of Gettysburg in 1863 and a rifle used by Brown during the abolitionist’s assault on Harper’s Ferry in 1858.

The two thieves pleaded guilty in April.

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