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Suspect Arrested for Theft of Historical Museum Artifact



Photo Courtesy of Fort Smith Museum of History

A man was taken into custody on Thursday as the suspected perpetrator of the theft of a tie pin reported missing from a display at a history museum in Arkansas in March.

Judge Isaac Parker sat on the bench of the U.S. Court for the Western District for 21 years, beginning in 1875 and ending in 1896. He became historically known as “The Hanging Judge” for the large number of death sentences handed out to offenders tried in his court. Parker was said to have worn a golden lizard-shaped pin while sitting on the bench.

The golden artifact is reportedly one of the last remaining items from Parker’s collection, and it is on display at the Fort Smith Museum of History in Arkansas.

Around 2:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 22, museum employees discovered that the piece was missing and they immediately notified the authorities. The Fort Smith Police Department responded to the call and began an investigation, and the museum released a statement to the public offering a $1300 reward for information assisting in the location of the pin.

Two days later, on Saturday, March 24, Judge Parker’s golden pin was returned to the museum, though police had not yet located a suspect.

On April 12 after investigators received an anonymous tip about his location they found and questioned 58-year-old Mark Craig Stevens about their beliefs that he had taken part in the theft of the artifact.

Police took Stevens into custody and he is facing charges of felony theft by receiving. Stevens was booked into the Sebastian County Adult Detention Center and remains there in lieu of $3,500 bail.

If Stevens is convicted of the charges he could receive a prison sentence of up to six years.

If you or someone you love is suspected of  a theft crime, contact Orange County criminal defense lawyer Staycie R. Sena at (949) 477-8088 for a consultation now.

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