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Originally published Thursday, January 17, 2013 at 9:43 AM

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Police: NY soldier stole 2 rifles, shotgun in '11

State police say a U.S. soldier charged with stealing three guns from an upstate New York home two years ago had recently returned from serving a tour in Afghanistan.

The Associated Press

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SCHOHARIE, N.Y. —

State police say a U.S. soldier charged with stealing three guns from an upstate New York home two years ago had recently returned from serving a tour in Afghanistan.

Troopers announced Thursday that 21-year-old Luke Aulita of the Schoharie (skoh-HAYR'-ee) County town of Wright was charged earlier this month with criminal possession of stolen property.

Police say Aulita was already in the Army when he stole a .30-06 rifle, a .243-caliber rifle and a 12-gauge shotgun in March 2011. Authorities say they weren't able to charge him until after he returned from Afghanistan to Joint Base Lewis-McChord near Tacoma, Wash., where he's a private in a field artillery unit with the 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team of the 2nd Infantry Division.

Troopers say Aulita voluntarily returned to eastern New York to face the charges.

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