Cooperstown man accused of trying to auction stolen property

By MARISSA DECHANT – Staff writer

A criminal complaint filed through District Judge Andrew Fish’s office said Franklin state police received a call from Shaun Stants on May 22, in regard to missing property left to him in his father’s will.

The will stated that the property, which included firearms and a gun safe valued at $7,000, miscellaneous glassware valued at $1,000 and miscellaneous personal property valued at $5,000, were to be auctioned off with the proceeds going to Stants, the complaint said.

Stants advised police that his uncle Gary Stants, 63, now owned the Jackson Township property where his dad had lived, the complaint said.

Shaun Stants said his uncle told him all the items were missing from the home, the complaint said.

Shaun Stants said he had later found his father’s belongings listed at Cresswell Auction Services in Grove City, the complaint said.

Police spoke with the owner of Cresswell Auction Services and were informed that Gary Stants had signed a contract with the company on March 22, the complaint said.

Several other witnesses positively identified the items as having belonged to Shaun Stants’ father, the complaint said.

Gary Stants is facing 24 felony counts of theft by unlawful taking and two felony counts of receiving stolen property, in addition to misdemeanor counts of theft by unlawful taking, theft by deception and receiving stolen property.

He was arraigned before Fish and placed in the Venango County jail on $25,000 bail.

A preliminary hearing is tentatively set for Wednesday in Central Court.