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Old guns missing from National Guard helicopter

Published: Wednesday, March 25 2009 1:23 p.m. MDT

WEST JORDAN — Two Vietnam-era Gatling guns mounted as part of a display on a Utah National Guard helicopter at the entrance of the Jake Garn Armory at the South Valley Regional Airport (formerly Salt Lake City Municipal Airport 2) are missing.

Investigators believe sometime over the past week, someone took the old guns, which had been disabled and the chambers melted shut so no rounds can pass through.

"You'd be better off building a barrel then use that one," said Col. Scott Robinson with the Utah National Guard.

Robinson said whoever took the guns apparently "knew what they were doing." The nuts were welded into the bolts, holding the six-barreled guns in place, Investigators believe someone used a grinder to dismantle the bolts and take the weapons, which were each about 4 feet long.

Both the guns and the Huey helicopter they were on were used in Vietnam. But the value of the weapons is sentimental and not monetary, Robinson said.

"The aircraft and the guns are representative of our (National Guard) heritage," he said. "What kind of person needs an ornament like that and would go through the trouble of getting it? I don't get it."

Investigators were reviewing surveillance video Wednesday looking for evidence.

Anyone with information on the missing weapons can call police at 801-840-4000.

— Pat Reavy

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