Grandson of Naval Historian Accused of Stealing Historical Records

Man accused of stealing historical records related to his grandfather

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    A grandson of a World War II naval historian is accused of stealing historical records related to his grandfather's work -- and officials used eBay to locate the documents.

    Samuel Morison, 69, of Crofton, Md., was arrested Tuesday after he reportedly offered to sell historical  records to a bookstore owner, who then agreed to buy the records and sell them on eBay.

    His grandfather, Rear Admiral Samuel Morison, was tasked by President Franklin D. Roosevelt to chronicle the Navy's activities during the war.

    Special agents assigned to the Archival Recovery Team found the items, including maps, charts, illustrations and photographs, on eBay and identified them as property of the U.S. government.

    At his first appearance in U.S. District Court in Maryland, officials unsealed a criminal complaint filed Monday against Morison.

    Roughly 34 boxes of government records and property were stolen from the National Archives, according to that complaint. 

    As a part-time researcher at the Navy Archives since March 2010, Morison had access to records but was never given permission to remove them from the building.

    Morison faces 10 years in prison and is not allowed to visit libraries or archives without court approval.

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