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Reward offered for stolen military rifles

LOS ANGELES, July 31 (UPI) -- Federal authorities say they arrested several people in the theft of 26 AK-74 assault rifles taken from California's Fort Irwin Army Post.

Also taken in the July 15 theft was a Russian-made Dragunov sniper rifle, CNN reported.

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The AK-74 is an improved version of the Russian-built AK-47. It was introduced by the Soviet military in the 1970s.

Investigators said some arrests followed interviews with employees at the arms storehouse at Fort Irwin, but details weren't immediately available. Officials said they were looking for additional suspects.

Authorities were trying to determine if some of the stolen weapons had turned up in Fresno, Calif.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Federal Bureau of Investigation have offered a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the thieves.

"We request the public's assistance to help us arrest and prosecute those individuals responsible for this crime," said Special Agent John A. Torres of the ATF's Los Angeles office.

"Community participation is necessary to improve the likelihood that ATF and our law enforcement partners will track down the firearms as well as the criminals who have sought to destabilize our community through illegal activity," Torres said.

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