WEST BOYLSTON (WBZ) ― West Boylston police say they've arrested a Becker College professor who had nearly a hundred guns and thousands of rounds of ammunition in his house.
Ron Sanders learned some of the guns were stolen, and serial numbers on the rest of them are being computer-checked by federal Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agents.
A couple of the guns are semi-automatic versions of an AK-47 and an M4.
Chief Dennis Minnich said seven of the guns were stolen; one of them had been taken, along with a quarter-million dollars in jade, in a robbery in Arizona last fall.
The chief said the guns were found with thousands of rounds of ammunition in the home of James Mitchener who was held on $2,000 bail for larceny and gun charges.
A woman who lives next door but preferred to not give her name says, other than a dispute about his apple trees, Mitchener was a good neighbor and she was surprised.
"I think it's terrible to have such ammunition right next door to you," she said.
Chief Minnich says Mitchener, a part-time professor of environmental science at Becker College also worked at Wayne's Weaponry in West Boylston, the owner of which reported two guns stolen last month.
"I'm in shock that it turned out to be him," says Wayne Almstrom. "When my wife and I would take off for bike week, he'd run the shop for me and everything was always perfect."
The chief says the guns stolen from Wayne's Weaponry were among those found in Mitchener's home, which he allowed police to search after they interviewed him and he admitted stealing them.
"I don't understand the motive. That's what's interesting. He had a legitimate license to carry...and he turned around and was stealing firearms so he added to his arsenal. The reason for that, I don't know," says the chief, who asks anyone missing firearms or who had dealings with James Mitchener to call West Boylston Police.
He also says, if convicted, Mitchener will never get any of his guns back. His license to carry has been revoked.
A spokesman for Becker College says Mitchener is not teaching at the school this term. The school has just learned about the incident and will look into it further.