SALEM — A man seen stealing hunting knives at Walmart on Sunday evening was also carrying a handgun stolen last year in a Salisbury house break, police said.
John P. Martin, 27, of 6 Foster Court, Salem, is now being held on $25,000 cash bail, following his arraignment in Salem District Court on charges that include receiving stolen property and carrying a firearm without a license.
“The concern we have is what was going to happen when Mr. Martin left the Walmart,” Salem police Lt. Conrad Prosniewski told a judge yesterday.
Police were sent to the Highland Avenue store just after 7:30 p.m. to take a report from the store’s security guard, who had Martin in custody.
The guard told Patrolmen John Bedard and William Riley that he saw Martin open a glass case and remove several knives, which he then removed from their packages and placed in his waistband.
During a pat-frisk, Bedard and Riley said they found not only five knives but a loaded handgun and extra ammunition, in a clip designed to hold 10 rounds. They also found a pouch containing 36 small bags of marijuana and 57 Neurontin pills, according to their report, which Prosniewski read in court.
The gun was later determined to be one of six guns stolen in a May 10 burglary on Bartlett Street in Salisbury.
Prosniewski told Judge Michael Lauranzano that Martin’s record dates back more than a decade and includes a 2003 incident in Peabody in which he was caught carrying another gun, a knife and martial arts weapons. According to a Salem News report on that arrest, Martin and a second teen were charged with breaking into a flea market on Howley Street. Martin was found to be carrying the weapons when he was arrested.
Since then, Martin has been arrested and served time in other cases, Prosniewski told the judge.