While Marine veteran Otto Penner Jr. lay fighting for his life in a hospital bed, someone broke into his home and stole 150 guns and knives.
This is an all around tragic story, and we hope the criminals are brought to justice.
-- The RallyPoint.com team
By Amanda Bland
While Vietnam veteran Otto Penner Jr. lay fighting for his life in a hospital bed, someone broke into his Oologah home and stole 150 guns and knives.
Now his family is offering a $10,000 reward for information about the crime.
The 66-year-old former Marine underwent heart surgery at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Oklahoma City in November and began experiencing complications on Nov. 22, said his sister, B.J. Penner.
"We think that word sort of got out and Saturday night (Nov. 23), as far as we know it was Saturday night, they broke into his house," she said.
He died on Nov. 25.
B.J. Penner said the family thinks the crook or crooks were at least an acquaintance who knew of her brother's declining condition and hospitalization. They also likely knew of the lifelong Oologah resident's extensive gun and knife collection, which consisted of more than 50 guns and at least 100 knives.
"They ransacked his house. They dumped out all the drawers ... took the mattresses off the bed, all the cushions out of the sofa," she said.
The family knew immediately that they wanted to offer a reward for information leading to the arrest and prosecution of the perpetrators.
"We just figure that the type of person that would do something like this is pretty low life and would also have some friends ... that would turn them in," B.J. Penner said.
The Penners are offering $10,000 for a break in the case.
Otto Penner was discharged from the U.S. Marine Corps in 1968 after suffering a combat injury while serving in Vietnam. He spent nine months recovering in San Diego before returning to Oklahoma, where he soon married and had a daughter, Heidi.
Heidi was killed in a car accident at 17.
"He had a very tough life, but he seemed to always have a smile. He always looked on the good side," B.J. Penner said of her brother.
He also struggled with alcoholism but had celebrated more than three decades of sobriety at the time of his death.
"He was very big in (Alcoholics Anonymous) and helped a lot of people," B.J. Penner said. "I've had men come up to me and tell me they wouldn't be alive today if it weren't for my little brother."
Otto Penner Jr. lived a mile west of Oologah off of East 400 Road.
His family asks anyone with information regarding the break-in to call them at 918-443-2766. The Rogers County Sheriff's Office crime tipline number is 918-341-3620.
Copyright 2013 Tulsa World (Tusla, Okla.)