Man charged with stealing antique gun & forging signature on stolen check

LACONIA — A man police describe as transient is in police custody and is charged with one count of receiving stolen property and one count of forgery.

City police said Stephen Donahue, 27, was in Franklin when he was spotted by one of their patrol officers who knew Laconia had two separate warrants outstanding for his arrest.

Donahue appeared in the 4th Circuit Court, Laconia Division Friday morning and was ordered held on $5,000 cash-only bail.

According to affidavits filed with the court, Donahue allegedly stole an antique gun June 15, 2013 that was at a booth at the Antique Center in downtown Laconia. The owner of the gun — a .50 caliber Connecticut Valley Arms black powder pistol — told police he had brought the gun in to one of the dealers to have him look at it.

The owner said his friend wasn't at his booth so he left it in an open case. The booth operator called the victim at 4 p.m. to ask him if he had left the gun there and if so where did he put it.

She reviewed the video surveillance and learned a man had taken it but she didn't know his name. The owner reported the theft three days later.

Police reviewed the logs of a local pawn shop and realized a similar gun had been pawned there on the same day as the theft. Police asked the pawn shop owner to set it aside because they had reason to think it was stolen.

When the victim provided the serial number of the gun to police it matched the one on the gun at the pawn shop and it was confiscated. Pawn shop records allegedly showed the person who sold it was Donahue.

In the matter of forgery, police responded on August 10 to a reported break in. Two days later the officer learned the some checks from the victim's checkbook were missing and had been cashed a Meredith Village Savings Bank.

The MVSB security officer verified the stolen checks were cashed and the teller had gotten a driver's license from the man who cashed them and it belonged to Donahue.

Since the bank reimbursed the victims, that makes it the real victims of forgery.
Donahue was also scheduled to plead guilty to a drug charge in the Belknap County Superior Court yesterday however his appearance was postponed.

As of Friday night, Donahue was in the Belknap County House of Corrections.