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Homeless Man In New York Finds Weapons Stolen From Worcester Armory

NEW YORK (CBS) -- There are new developments in a story that has kept investigators busy for several days after police say a man stole guns from a Worcester armory and then fled to New York.

Now, New York Police say they have recovered at least some of the weapons.

It was a little more than a week ago when 16 military weapons were stolen from the Lincoln Stoddard Army Reserve Center. Top officials voiced their concerns as the theft came during a time when national security concerns are at a high point.

The Lincoln Stoddard Army Reserve Center. (WBZ)

Investigators say six M-4 rifles and 10 handguns were taken. Now comes word that three of the weapons have been recovered, but it's still unclear where the rest of the weapons are.

Bronx police told WBZ-TV that a homeless man found a duffel bag with three of the military weapons in a park across from Yankee Stadium. He called 911, and officers responded and collected the guns, a police spokeswoman said.

James Walker Morales, 34, a former Army reservist with ties to New York, was arrested and charged on Long Island Wednesday night.

James Morales
James Morales after he was arrested in 2013. (Photo credit: Somerville Police)

This week, Gov. Charlie Baker sounded off on the weapons theft, saying "Separate and apart from anything that has to do with terrorism, I'm just concerned about the fact that some really high-caliber military weapons were stolen from a military facility in the first place."

The FBI says surveillance cameras captured Morales at the reserve center. Investigators say he broke in through a kitchen window, cutting into the weapons vault with a power saw and a pry bar.

Investigators said they do not believe the weapons theft was related to terrorism. The alleged motive behind the crime could be revealed when he returns to MA to face charges. Morales could make an appearance in federal court in Worcester as early as Monday.

Kevin Reddick, Morales' former neighbor, couldn't believe the allegations.

"He's a really nice guy. He seems like he cares for his family. He doesn't seem like a bad guy. I find it hard to believe that he actually did this," said Reddick.

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