Some may call them antiques.
"I've done that since I was 11 years old. Of course, I grew up in Pennsylvania so Kentucky rifles, Pennsylvania rifles---that's how I grew up."
But for John Grata, they're a passion.
The New Windsor man has spent most of his adult life collecting black powder long rifles dating back to the early 1800s.
"I got them at auctions. I got them at gun shows and privately wherever one would turn up,” said the 71-year-old, “especially the Huntington County and Bedford County guns and the Maryland guns of course."
But over the last 10 months, the beloved rifles and some antique pistols began to disappear- 43 in all, and now 37-year-old Amy Dolly is charged with stealing a $100,000 worth of firearms while working as a cleaning lady for the victim.
Grata says the suspect's mother is a valued friend, but he had no idea in giving her a job helping him clean his home and some vintage Corvettes that he works on, he would be opening the door to a thief of six-figure proportions.
"I had some warning,” said Grata. “I had some people tell be to be careful, but until you find out first hand, you never know."
Detectives have since tracked the suspect's purchases to pawn shops in Pennsylvania and Maryland, along with witness testimony that she was selling them out of her Westminster home.
For his part, Grata is frustrated, both by the thefts themselves, by the fact that he let his insurance coverage for them lapse months before they began to disappear and by the lack of perceived effort by police to help him get back the stolen items.
"Approximately 28 were taken,” said Grata, “I got two back. I know of nine more that I was hoping to get some police help to get them recovered, but that hasn't happened yet."
In their defense, investigators say the victim has provided no pictures, no bills of sale and didn't mark the rifles in a way that identifies them as his property.
It also may make it difficult to place an accurate value on them when the case goes to court.