Thieves take guns handled by cowboy star Tom Mix

Saturday, April 20th 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

DEWEY, Okla. (AP) _ Thieves have taken eleven pistols once used by famed cowboy Tom Mix.

All handguns were marked with the cowboy actor's logo and had a total value of $16,300.

The thieves smashed glass doors at the Oklahoma Historical Society's Tom Mix Museum in Dewey where Mix once worked as town marshal before going into the movies.

Once inside, the burglars shattered a glass case where the guns were kept.

``He used them all at one time or another,'' museum Manager Peggy Berryhill said of Mix and the missing handguns. ``Back then they used real bullets. It was before they invented blanks. They were in the movies and he also used them in the Wild West shows.''

Berryhill said the thieves apparently knew what they wanted from the museum, which also features a silent movie theater.

``They were in and out of here in less than a minute,'' she said.

The break-in happened April 13. Bartlesville Area Crime Stoppers has offered a reward.

``We're all hoping they are found,'' Berryhill said.

Another thief tried to steal one of Mix's pistols years ago, Berryhill said, but was caught just outside the museum door.

Mix and his horse Tony starred in about 300 silent movies. Mixalso worked as screenwriter and director in some of those movies.

He later started his own Wild West show. Mix was also known through a radio show for children. Different actors portrayed the star from episode to episode.

He died in 1940 at the age of 60 after a suitcase hit the back of his head during an automobile accident in the Arizona desert.

While he once lived in Oklahoma and married a woman from there, Mix was born in Pennsylvania.