Museum Security Network

Swords stolen from Pacific War Museum

Swords stolen from Pacific War Museum

By Dionesis Tamondong • Pacific Daily News • June 22, 2010

The family of the late Marine Corps veteran and advocate John Gerber is asking for the public’s help in recovering three swords stolen from the Pacific War Museum.

The Asan museum, which was founded by Gerber with his personal collection of World War II memorabilia, was broken into Saturday night or early Sunday morning, said Gerber’s widow, Mela Gomez Gerber.

As her family was preparing to open the museum on Sunday, which was Father’s Day, they found a door had been pried open in the museum’s Japanese wing and a glass panel had been shattered.

Nothing else was missing, and the rest of the museum seemed to be in order, Mela Gerber said.

But the burglary was especially upsetting, she said, because of the timing.

“We’re still grieving John’s passing, and we’re trying to keep his legacy going,” she said. “Then something like this happens, and it just really upsets everybody.”

John Gerber died May 4 and was buried with full military honors.

In addition to the museum, the Marine sergeant was responsible for having Route 1 renamed from Marine Drive to Marine Corps Drive, and was known for his continuous support of fellow Marines.

Mela Gerber is asking those responsible to return the swords. She’s also asking anyone with information to call police.

Two of the missing swords once were owned by Japanese officers. The third item — a samurai sword — was an heirloom and is reportedly about 559 years old, said Mela Gerber and police spokesman Officer A.J. Balajadia.

The Guam Police Department’s Criminal Investigation Section is investigating the theft.

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