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Are stolen guns ever returned ???

Discussion in 'General Firearm Discussion' started by Snowy Rivers, Jan 24, 2014.

  1. Snowy Rivers

    Snowy Rivers oregon Active Member

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    The answer to this is, MAYBE

    Back to 2003, we were doing a gun show up at Expo in PDX

    The show was nothing out of the ordinary and the crowds were good.

    The first day of the three day event saw a fellow looking at several small semi autos and finally deciding to purchase a little AMT Backup we had on the table.

    He asked if we would hold it until the next day (Sat) and he would be back with the $$$

    I told him we would put it away for him and it would be here.

    The next day, we arrive and it was obvious that our area had been rifled through.

    Cover sheets were messed up and our packing crates under the tables had been gone through, and THE AMT WAS GONE

    Several other vendors had also been ripped off as well.

    We notified the cops, filed the paperwork with ATF and that was it.

    Considering the situation, I should have known that this was a set up.

    The Expo allows non certified workers in the area to clean up and such after the show each night, and the security people can't be everywhere in that vast hall.

    I considered the loss a permanent one, and wrote it off.

    WE logged it off the bound book as stolen, done deal.

    About 3 years ago or so there was an ATF field agent in the shop doing an audit, and commented that her paperwork showed that the little AMT had been recovered by PPD

    Ahhhhh, I remarked, "then we wil get it back" ?????

    The agent replied. "no, it will be either destroyed or sold"

    Wait a minute, that's my property, it must be returned after any case has been completed.

    The conversation trailed off, likely on purpose by the agent.

    This past fall (Sept 13) I got a call from PPD, and the officer identified herself and asked for me personally.

    After she asked some questions to identify who she was speaking to, she informed me that they had a handgun that belonged to me, and wanted to return it.

    WHOA, such a deal.

    Seems that Skamania Co SO had seized it during a search warrant over in one of the little bergs up the Col river east of Vancouver.
    The gun showed up on the hot sheet so they kept it and through channels it made it's way back to PPD as it was originally stolen there.

    OK
    It took about three weeks after the initial contact for the little critter to return (The PPD paid the fedex overnight too) but it is now back.

    The original magazine was missing, but that was easily replaced.

    There are so many stories of stolen guns that don't end happily, but they stand a better chance if you keep good accurate records of your guns.

    Interestingly, the ATF provides, free of charge, a nice little record pamphlet that you can keep in a safe place (not with your guns) to record make, mod and ser##

    WE keep these on the counter for customers to take.

    If you report stolen guns immediately, and with complete info, the chances of them returning are far greater.

    It took 10 years for our little AMT to surface, but it did.

    Sadly, with the high degree of lateral movement of small guns in the street scene, unless they are recovered at a crime scene, or during an arrest or search warrant, recovery is tough.

    A word to the wise.

    Any time you might buy a used gun in a face to face sale, it's a good idea to call the Oregon State Police Gun Check line and do a "hot sheet"

    We do any and all used guns before we purchase them.

    WE have had transfers come in from out of state that turned up HOT
    This tends to make the customer very unhappy.

    We had one very spendy shotgun leave here in a patrol car.
    The buyer had purchased it from a Pawn shop on a trip back east.

    The Pawn folks had not checked it out. ooooops

    I spoke with them and reamed them, which likely did little good.

    Never heard any more.

    Guns can come home, but it can take long time.

    We have 4 long guns out there that belonged to my father in law
    These have been out over 40 years and no hits.

    If guns get turned in on a buy back, all bets are off, they will likely go the breakers (melted)

    Keep good records, it can help.

    Snowy
     
    wombat and (deleted member) like this.
  2. nextgenar

    nextgenar roseburg Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Sometimes you can luck out and get one back my brother in law was burglarized several years ago he had a lot of stuff taken the local sherif found his pistol in a raid on a drug house about 5 years later but his browning a bolt micro medallion in 257 Roberts was never found the last 3 digits of the serial # is 243 if you see it around contact me or local law enforcement another friend got back a stolen 22-250 after 20 years and another friend got back a stolen sako with the bolt missing it was stolen in southern Oregon and turned up in an alley in Seattle
     
  3. deen_ad

    deen_ad Vancouver, WA Well-Known Member

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    Father lost a handgun about 20 years ago in a burglary, have yet to see it again. I have the original box and the long barrel for it.


    Deen
    NRA Life Member, Benefactor Level
    "Defender of Freedom" award
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    Washington Arms Collectors Member
    Arms Collectors of SW Washington Member


    "Having a gun is like a parachute, if you need one and don't have it you may never need it again"
     
  4. superdave65

    superdave65 Bremerton, WA Member

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    At the Walla Walla gun show a couple of weeks ago a victim of a gun theft found his gun. I was sitting on a table for sale. The gun owner had done some custom machining on the sight, so he knew the gun when he saw it. The dealer that had it on his table had to give it up to the deputy, he was out the money that he paid for it. The kicker of the story is that the pistol had been stolen six years previously. Who knows how many hands that gun had been through.
     
  5. wichaka

    wichaka Wa State Well-Known Member

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    Unless there's underhanded stuff going on by the recovering dept., you'll get your gun returned upon verifying who the owner is.

    Important to have all your serial numbers recorded and make sure they are given to LE at the time of the investigation.
    When LE, anywhere in the U.S runs the serial number and it happens to come back as stolen, it will come back with the dept. the case originated from along with the date and case number. The recovering dept. contacts that dept., and sometimes the gun owner directly and things go from there.
     
    hker71 and (deleted member) like this.
  6. Swedish K

    Swedish K SW Washington Moderator Staff Member

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    a co worker got a derringer back that he had given to his uncle 20 years prior - his uncle had moved somewhere near Chicago and it was stolen 5 years later. I was surprised that Chicago PD bothered to track him down 15 years after the theft and returned it to him. I also received a call from Oakland PD asking for one of the captains I worked with who was out of the office. They were trying to track down his son to return his 1911 that was stolen along with his car a year prior.

    A friend, on the other hand, received a call about 8 years after his shotgun was stolen to let him know they had recovered it. Then they told him it was being destroyed as it had been cut down to an illegal length. He tried to get them to return it without the barrel but couldn't convince them to do so...
     
  7. Boomerang

    Boomerang Portland area Active Member

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    Is there anything specific a person needs to know to do this?
     
  8. Snowy Rivers

    Snowy Rivers oregon Active Member

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    To check a gun on the hot sheet, call the OSP AT ) 1-800-432-5059

    When the call taker comes on the line, explain that you want to do a stolen gun check, and they will walk you through it.

    It's easier for us dealers as we are set up online and simply fill in the form on the screen, click the mouse and in a short you get a response.
     
  9. The Heretic

    The Heretic Oregon Well-Known Member

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    There was another thread where it was asserted that they require you provide a place and time of transfer, before the transfer, so they can come get it if it is stolen. Otherwise they won't do the check for you.

    I do not know how true this is, or if the person at OSP was simply being obstinate, or what.
     
  10. Snowy Rivers

    Snowy Rivers oregon Active Member

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    I can't comment on that one.

    Having been and are a dealer, the LE knows where to come.
     
  11. Sgt Nambu

    Sgt Nambu Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I was burglarized in the early '90s, losing a S&W model 17, a S&W 39 and a S&W model 66 snub nose. About five years later PPD called and I picked up the M-39 at their property room. It was in terrible condition and I just sold it to an acquaintance for "scrap metal" prices. I would kill (the burglar) to get the M-17 back. Any lib spys out there, it's a turn of phrase not a real threat.
     
  12. 40calruler

    40calruler Lake Oswego Well-Known Member

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    Alright since it is here I will throw one out there. My Dad had a Walther PPK stolen when one of my siblings threw a party as My dad at the time was at the fire station and obviously they work 24 hour shifts. This was his favorite gun ever and he still talks about it 20 years later. Pearl grips, stainless, extended extra long beaver tail he had customized for his large hands. Flawless. He called his Insurance and they paid him a check for the value of the pistol. A few days later as he was close to many officers being a fireman he found out that his gun was taken off a 17 year old punk and in the police lock up. After many calls the end result was that the insurance company now owned the gun. They said they planned to auction it and my dad called many times to find the auction location. To his dismay one of his pals at the PPD called him and told him the insurance was feeding him a load and had ordered it destroyed. A beautiful piece melted to nothing since he took the insurance money. I think he looks a little choked up when he tells that story still. Nobody else would notice but I can tell and know the feeling of the guns that have a lot of sentimental value. I would be crushed more so if a couple of my grandpas guns were stolen from me than if someone took my tv, surround sound, which is worth far more cash value than the guns.
     
  13. 40calruler

    40calruler Lake Oswego Well-Known Member

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    To the rest of us a understandable phrase. Taking a mans gun is low. Take my wallet, tvs, computers, tablets, all of it but leave the effing guns be.
     
  14. The Heretic

    The Heretic Oregon Well-Known Member

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    BTW - I forgot to mention this, but in addition to having a list of firearms with their serial numbers, it helps to have photos of the firearms too, including most recent ones where any goodies added to the firearm are present.

    This helps identifying them, but it also helps present proof to the insurance company that you actually had them, when it comes time to make a claim.

    Which segues to the next thing; if you recover any stolen property, I believe you need to notify the insurance company.
     
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  15. ducrider

    ducrider Canyonville, OR Active Member

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    My friend had his colt 1911 returned after about 5 years, he lives here in oregon and got a call from a police department in california that it had been taken off a girl in a house raid and thought it was used in a crime, it took him about a month to get it back, it was in horrible condition, there was no finish left on the slide and it had deep*pitting along the whole length of it, the cops thought it was blood that ate into the finish, I don't know if that is even possible but that's what he said, the day he got it back we went out and shot it, it worked fine
     
  16. bellarum

    bellarum beaverton Well-Known Member

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    I photograph my firearms with my drivers license next to the serial# A wide shot and a close up. I put those photos in a file on my computer, 2 different flash drives, and a disc. I keep one flash drive in my safe. When I sell one I still keep the pictures but, add the sale info. Easy to keep up to date.
     
  17. BAMCIS

    BAMCIS Eugene Well-Known Member

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    Good idea. I keep all this info on a spread sheet and keep it up to date. I also keep a copy in the "cloud". (Google drive) This way I can access it anywhere in the world.
     
  18. DoubleTapDrew

    DoubleTapDrew Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Do you need to keep re-upping your stolen gun? I had a pistol stolen about 10 years ago and occasionally the PD I reported it to would send me a form I needed to sign to renew it. Really? In this day and age they need to have the victim remind them, "oh yeah, it was still stolen 10 years ago" If I don't do this will it no longer be considered a stolen gun and can be bought and sold through FFLs with no flags?
     
  19. NCW Ray

    NCW Ray Sunny Eastern Washington Active Member

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    I believe National Crime Information Center (NCIC) requires the entering agency to confirm the firearm is in fact still stolen and has not been found by or returned to the reporting party.
     
  20. DoubleTapDrew

    DoubleTapDrew Oregon Well-Known Member

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    :( Yeah the thief didn't return it and it wasn't lost so it can't be found by me.