Retired fire chief caught selling stolen museum artifacts online

New Jersey authorities arrested a former fire battalion chief on theft charges, after discovering thousands of dollars worth of missing artifacts from a fire museum in Bayonne.

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New Jersey authorities arrested a former fire battalion chief on theft charges, after discovering thousands of dollars worth of missing artifacts from a fire museum in Bayonne.

A retired fire battalion chief in Bayonne, New Jersey, was caught stealing artifacts from a museum and selling the items online, according to news reports.

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Paul Avery, 64, who earns an annual pension of $130,000, was arrested Thursday and is facing theft charges after authorities found he was stealing pieces from the John T. Breannan Fire Museum and selling them on eBay, according to NewJersey.com.

Although investigators were able to recover a few items, such as helmets and a speaking trumpet, they were not able to find a majority of the artifacts, NJ.com reported, and in fact are not even sure of all the pieces Avery may have stolen.

The Jersey Journal reported the value of the missing items ranges in the thousands of dollars.

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Avery retired from the department in 2017 and had done work for the museum, which is how officials believe he gained access to the storage room where most of the missing items were stored.

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