A Montgomery County man born in a German prison camp has been sentenced to probation for stealing thousands of dollars of World War II memorabilia from Allentown gun shows.
Eugene Prokopyschyn, a 68-year-old former Philadelphia police officer who is now an electrician, was sentenced Wednesday in Lehigh County court.
The Upper Moreland Township resident took a German World War II dagger, officer's hat, silverware set and two helmets during a February gun show, and another helmet, canteen and artwork during a show last October, according to the Allentown Morning Call.
The newspaper reported that Prokopyschyn was born in a German prison camp during World War II and lived there until he was nine.
He told Judge Robert Steinberg during Wednesday's hearing that he was "totally embarrassed" by the incidents are the thefts were "some sort of compulsion," according to the Morning Call. Prokopyschyn's attorney told the newspaper that the man's father was a Polish soldier who was captured by the Germans and Prokopyschyn "has a lot of anger from his upbringing."
Prokopyschyn was ordered to serve seven years probation, with the first 90 days on house arrest, and pay $10,000 in fines and $3,150 in restitution.
He pleaded guilty to the retail theft charges in July, court records say.