BLAIR COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — An Altoona man is behind bars after police report he broke into a relative’s apartment and stole guns, ammo and other items, claiming he was stockpiling for an impending terrorist attack.

On Monday, a relative of 42-year-old Vaughn Ackerman called police to report that the second-floor door to her apartment was open after she was returning from being away for a few days, according to Altoona police. She also noted that she legally owns a large collection of firearms.

Police were made aware that Ackerman, who lives in an apartment within the same duplex, was wanted on an outstanding arrest warrant on gun charges. Additionally, the relative told police she was concerned about his deteriorating mental state due to methamphetamine abuse.


Around 4:30 p.m., 10 Altoona police officers surrounded the relative’s apartment, which turned out to be barricaded from the inside. However, police were able to locate Ackerman in his apartment, and he came out with his hands up.

Police report that the relative’s apartment was ransacked, a padlocked door was forced open and bolt cutters were on the floor. The relative’s gun collection was missing, however, they were found in Ackerman’s apartment.

According to police, the following items were found in his apartment:

  • Two sets of body armor
  • Russian-made AK-47
  • Two AR-15s
  • Bolt action rifle
  • Two 12-guage pump action shotguns
  • Two revolvers
  • Throwing stars
  • Mini crossbow
  • Brass knucks
  • Flail with morning star head and steel mace
  • Steel knive
  • Methamphetamine smoking device
  • HP laptop
  • Propane tank
  • Various ammo

Ackerman said he was stockpiling due to an impending terrorist attack, police noted.

He was arrested and taken to UPMC Altoona where he tried to escape and punched and kicked the officer.

Ackerman is charged with burglary and theft-related charges, along with possessing instruments of crime for two sets of Kevlar body armor found in his apartment

He remains in Blair County jail with bail set at $250,000 cash.

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