Police Seize Ammunition, AR-15 Magazines From Home of Haverhill Man

Stephen Vavak appears alongside Attorney Pamela Rogers in Haverhill District Court on Oct. 8, 2019. (WHAV News photograph)

Clarification: An original version of this story referenced the seizure of memorabilia in Vavak's home. Police did not seize the items, simply located them in the residence as part of the investigation.

Haverhill Police intending to perform a well-being check on a man’s pets after his September arrest ended up finding more than $46,000 worth of Nazi memorabilia and weapons in his Old Ferry Road home following a search warrant execution, leading a judge to bring him up on new charges.

Taken into custody Sept. 4 after a neighbor dispute, 55-year-old disabled veteran Stephen Vavak was declared a danger to the community this week after being summonsed to court on nine counts of possession of a large capacity firearm/feeding device and unlicensed possession of ammunition. He’ll spend at least the next month behind bars as his case progresses in Haverhill District Court, Judge Patricia Dowling ruled.

As WHAV previously reported, Vavak allegedly pulled a silver Kaber knife with a red handle from his waistband on Haverhill Police Officers Kevin Billings and Kevin DeCarvalho when they went to his home to follow up on the reported neighbor dispute. At the time, had to draw their weapons for their safety and that of Vavak, who demanded they get the “f—k” off his property.

During Vavak’s Sept. 5 arraignment on assault charges, Judge Richard Mori allowed Haverhill Animal Control to take custody of Vavak’s pets, which they did later that day, accompanied by police.

When officers arrived, they found several empty rifle magazines and rifle ammunition in plain view, along with a large sword, multiple folding knives and airsoft guns, according to Det. Taylor Anderson.

Police also spoke to Vavak’s former fiancée, who expressed concern over what she called his “declining mental health.” The woman told Anderson he was spending money he didn’t have and the World War II buff recently became fixated on Germany and grew a mustache that “resembled Adolf Hitler.”

Executing a search warrant in the home, officers went into a second floor bedroom and found Nazi memorabilia including three swastika flags, signed framed photographs of Adolf Hitler and T-shirts. Police also found an itemized list of purchases Vavak made in the amount of $46,700.

Police seized two bow and arrow sets, a double-edged knife, one .308 Winchester round of ammunition and nine 30-round AR-15 magazines from the home.

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