EAST AURORA, N.Y. (WIVB) – The serial number of a gun used in a shooting outside a popular Buffalo bar matches a stolen gun that belongs to the family of Roycroft founder Elbert Hubbard.
Police believe his great-great granddaughter, 22-year-old Megan Hubbard-Riley, stole thirteen handguns from her mother to support a heroin addiction. The items were stolen from Hubbard’s great-granddaughter Mary, who is Hubbard-Riley’s mother.
“She felt she was a victim of a burglary. Our patrol responded there and did an initial investigation, which revealed up to thirteen handguns missing from the residence as well as Roycroft antiques,” said East Aurora Police Detective Patrick Welch.
“The crimes, the disappearance of the guns, were traced back to the victim’s daughter and her boyfriend.”
Police say Hubbard-Riley and her boyfriend, 36-year-old John Lawandus, sold authenticated Roycroft antiques to three area pawn shops. The guns were sold to more untrustworthy hands.
“The boyfriend, we believe, was almost a broker of sorts when it came to the handguns on the streets. They had two operatives in the City of Buffalo. They would meet with the guns that were taken from the residence,” said Welch.
According to police, the serial number on one of those handguns matches the gun used during the shooting outside the bar formerly known as the The Pink. The victim of that shooting, Ed Andino, has been released from the hospital and is recovering.
Welch says Hubbard-Riley stole the weapons and heirlooms “to feed a drug addiction.”
“When you run out of money you start to look for property that you could make money by pawning off. Selling things any way to get cash. In this instance she turned to her family’s precious keepsakes and firearms,” he said
Other than the guns and a 2-carat diamond ring, police have recovered most of Mary Hubbard’s belongings, including Roycroft literature, an antique Roycroft coffee pot, leather goods and other valuables, all of which add up to $50,000 in value.
Lawandus pleaded not guilty to grand larceny charges in Aurora Town Court Wednesday evening. Town Justice Jeffrey Markello set bail at $50,000 and scheduled his felony hearing for Monday at 2 p.m. Lawandus is also held on $50,000 bail for weapons counts in Buffalo.
Megan Hubbard-Riley is held on $75,000 bail on weapons charges in Buffalo. She also faces grand larceny charges in the Town of Aurora.