UPDATE Man indicted in Johnson Co. gun theft case

By: Tanner Hesterberg, Whitney Burks Email
By: Tanner Hesterberg, Whitney Burks Email

Update 2/28/12:

JOHNSON COUNTY, Ky. (WYMT) - Last week we brought you the story of a couple who found out they bought nearly 20 stolen guns from a pawn shop.

The woman those guns were originally stolen from says she is still in shock about the whole situation.

Sheriff's deputies say 18-year-old Joshua Amburgey stole nearly two dozen guns from the woman he was staying with. She told Mountain News Thursday when she took him in she never expected anything like this to happen.

Misty Powers has known Amburgey for about eight years. Last August he came to live with her.

"He had to stay in school. He had to have good grades and not get in trouble," she said.

She says he did for a while, but a few months later he started missing school regularly. When she told him he needed to get his things and leave, she says his things were not all he took. When Powers opened her safe she found nearly two dozen guns, personal papers, and jewelry including her deceased husband's wedding ring gone.

"I still cannot figure out why. I don't think Josh even knows why," said Powers.

Most of the guns and two watches were found, but the rest of it has yet to be seen. Deputies say it is all thanks to recorded serial numbers that the guns were found.

"When those items are stolen and you don't have that serial number wrote down then there's virtually no way to get it back," said Johnson County Chief Deputy Kevin Pelphrey.

Powers says losing the items is not the worst of it.

"Everybody has lost. Josh has lost his youth. We have lost personal items. And I have lost faith," she said.

Amburgey was indicted for the crime and arrested on Tuesday. He was released from jail this week. We were unable to contact him for an interview

Powers says the incident worried her so much that she had all the locks on her house and her safe changed.

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Update 2/22/12:

PAINTSVILLE, Ky. (WYMT) - A Johnson County man has been indicted in connection with the theft and re-selling of nearly 30 guns.

Joshua Amburgey, 18, has been indicted on one count of complicity to receive stolen property $10,000 or more.

Amburgey allegedly stole guns from the woman who had taken him in and sold them.

He was originally arrested on Jan. 18.

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Original story 2/20/12:

PAINTSVILLE, Ky. (WYMT) - A grand jury heard the case of a Johnson County man accused of stealing nearly 30 guns and re-selling them.

Kathy Harless said she and her husband Mike paid more than $2,500 for guns that turned out to be stolen.

“He told a very believable story. He said the guns were handed down from his grandfather who had passed away, which it turns out wasn't true,” Harless said.

Police said Joshua Amburgey stole the guns from the home of the woman who had taken him in while she was out of town.

“The homeowner was vacationing in Paducah, Kentucky visiting her daughter. She returned home. The safe that housed approximately 29 handguns and long rifles had been opened and all the contents removed,” Johnson County Chief Deputy David Pridemore said.

The serial numbers of the guns helped police trace some of them to the Harless' home in East Ridge.

“I had no idea what was going on. I'm in here and I saw that he had a list and Mike was telling me that this is probably all the guns and one by one they marked the guns off the list," Harless said.

Pridemore said it's still too soon to determine if the Harlesses will be able to get any of their money back.

Amburgey is charged with receiving stolen property.

We called for a comment from Joshua Amburgey and left a message, but our call was not returned.


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