Security System at National Civil War Museum Under Fire After Robbery

The museum’s alarm system did not go off and surveillance cameras did not produce useful images of the burglar.

HARRISBURG, Pa. — A $650,000-value heist at the National Civil War Museum here has Harrisburg Mayor Eric Papenfuse questioning its security system. Three historic guns were stolen after a window was smashed early on Sunday.

PennLive reports the museum’s alarm system failed and the video surveillance system did not capture any useful images of the burglar. The only information they gathered was the suspect was thin and wore dark clothing.

“I don’t feel the city’s investment is well secured at the museum, or safe,” Mayor Papenfuse said. “I think this exposes whether they are a legitimate museum. A legitimate museum would have a working security system.”

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The report also found not all of the museum’s 35 surveillance cameras were set to record.

Gene Barr, vice president of the museum board, defended the museum’s security system, pointing to examples of paintings worth millions being stolen at some of the “best museums in the world.”

“No one has said to us the security was inadequate,” he said. “Police have not said our security is inadequate.”

Two of the guns stolen were associated with Abraham Lincoln’s Secretary of War Simon Cameron, according to the report.

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