When the gun you bought turns out to have been stolen

Discussion in 'General Firearm Discussion' started by olddanshooter, Sep 13, 2017.

  1. olddanshooter

    East of Seattle
    Silver Supporter Silver Supporter

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    Scumbag criminals. How many people they affect down the road is amazing.

    Anyway, my story starts on a great day last year sniffing around Pinto's gun shop in Renton seeing a nearly perfect 6" Python. Great price, even considering the hype. 1970's vintage, check. Royal Blue in all it's glory, check. It followed me home after the requisite paperwork and phone calls.

    So fast forward 10 months. I'm on the couch, 7pm, and I get a call from a King County Deputy. Glad I answered, usually I don't if I don't recognize the number. She was calling as a courtesy before stopping by to collect a firearm that "popped up" as stolen.

    I was extremely surprised to hear this, I figured the gov't would know if something was stolen when it was called in. Well, after 10 months of ownership somehow my Python's serno popped positive from a burglary in Southern California in 1990!

    KingCo deputy asked if she could swing by to pick up the revolver. I asked if I could bring it by the Sheriff's office next week and she said no problem. I appreciate that flexibility.

    So next week I dropped off my beautiful Python, with a trigger like silk to the detective on duty at KingCo sheriffs office in Maple Valley. Got a piece of paper for my efforts. Detective made a point of telling me I wasn't in trouble. I stifled my reply.

    Kudo's to Diana, owner of Pinto's who didn't even hesitate to give me my money back. Sadly she will have to deal with insurance and paperwork also.

    As for my Python, It's probably owned by an insurance company who paid out on the burglary claim in 1990. Odds of me seeing it again are pretty slim.

    So I get to go on the hunt for another 1970's, nearly perfect Royal Blue Python. I'm even laughing at my chances of finding one anywhere near what I paid last year.

    Since face to face purchases went out of style with our pathetic voter base recently, I have not checked the stolen gun database when buying guns in reputable shops, or transferring via FFL's because I "assumed" the gobnent was doing that as a part of the FFL transfer. Turns out, it's not. So buyer beware. Always check first, even thought the database isn't comprehensive, it's better than nothing.

    Gotta laugh. Only time I've had a problem with buying a stolen gun is after the liberals changed the laws making it illegal to buy face to face.
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2017
  2. Joe13

    NW of Vancouver
    Opinionated & Blunt Silver Supporter Bronze Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer 2017 Volunteer

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    Bum deal man:(
  3. cigars

    Beaverton, USA
    Cav Scout/Armorer/Cold War/Communist Borders Platinum Supporter 2016 Volunteer

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    That really sucks. You did the right thing though, whether it's the owner or insurance company that gets it back (hopefully the owner). At least you got your money back too. I know that if it was my gun that was stolen I would hope it eventually wind up in the hands of a squared away individual like yourself. Kudos to you. The universe will pay you back. Your children and family should be proud. :)
  4. Ranoca

    Oregon City

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    I want to both like and hate your story at the same time. 27 years later? Don't get me wrong, I'm usually happy when stolen property is recovered, but that sucks. As you pointed out, insurance most likely paid out the original owner for it, so it wouldn't go back to them. Assuming the insurance company is even still around, what would they do but sell it? If they aren't still in business, what then? Meanwhile two people who would appreciate it can't have it and a pawn shop's insurance rates will climb.

    Agreed with Joe. Bum deal all around.
  5. Crohnos01

    SW Washington
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    I don't know if this would work, but could you maybe work out a deal to buy the gun from the insurance company? As you pointed out, they no doubt already paid the claim/replaced the gun long ago. My fear is that an insurance company will just have it destroyed :( Couldn't hurt to try.
  6. L84Cabo

    Orcas Island, WA
    Well-Known Member

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    I know it sucks but all things considered, that's a pretty good outcome given that you got your money back. I'm sure there are cases where that doesn't happen.

    Did you think at all to include a little note with the gun? Like, "Dear insurance company...if you're going to sell this gun, please call me first? It probably wouldn't work but ya never know. Got nothing to lose.
  7. cigars

    Beaverton, USA
    Cav Scout/Armorer/Cold War/Communist Borders Platinum Supporter 2016 Volunteer

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    In retrospect to my previous post, perhaps it would have been fortuitous to have consulted with an attorney. Maybe a statute of limitations would have applied? Too late now though. I still think that you did the right thing though. Keep on keepin' on.
  8. Boboclown

    North Carolina
    Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Three years to make a criminal case of it in CA I think. Helps the guy who stole it, doesn't help the OP. It sucks, but what can ya do? :(
    Caveman Jim likes this.
  9. ron

    Vancouver, Washington
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    I don't think the firearm will be returned to the insurance company. How would the authorities
    know? The firearm is stolen from an individual not an insurance company? A guy I knew at
    work had a "truck gun" stolen from his pickup twice. First time stolen the insurance company
    paid him for the value. Recovered by Portland police and returned to him a year later. I A couple
    years later stolen again from his pickup!:eek: Didn't turn it into insurance second time but
    it was recovered few months later. I don't know how common or uncommon getting a
    stolen firearm back? I hope someone could tell us if an Insurance company has a claim on recovered guns? I had a XDM stolen a couple years ago. Insurance bought me a
    new one but I hope it will be recovered some day.o_Oo_Oo_O
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2017
    Caveman Jim likes this.
  10. Certaindeaf

    SE Portland
    Well-Known Member

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    Well I hope at least you shot the piss out of it while you had it..
  11. etrain16

    Silver Supporter Silver Supporter Bronze Supporter 2017 Volunteer

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    Bummer deal. Hard to know if anyone is at fault here, save for the government folks that didn't catch this as being stolen much, much sooner. But good on the police for being nice about the whole thing. Good on the gun shop for giving you a no-hassle refund. Good on you for not making an issue out of it. If the original owner gets it back, no doubt they will be beyond happy to have it back in their possession again.

    Crappy story, but considering the various ways this could have gone, probably the best possible outcome.
    spookshack, Ranoca and SKrueger like this.
  12. The Heretic

    The Heretic
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    I am sure the gov checks their local database, but probably not that of other states?

    So then how did WA come to find out that the gun was stolen in CA and why did it take so long?

    Surely they do not have some sitting there manually checking serial numbers. If it is an automated process, why did it take so long? I think I would have questions for the police/gov. as to their processes.
  13. MountainBear

    Sweet Home, OR
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    As someone who has had a gun stolen and not been reimbursed by an insurance company, I appreciate your efforts.
    My roommates and I found a few handguns missing when we lived in Denver. I think my roommates always felt like I sold or pawned them, as I was broke, and there was no forced entry to our apartment. So we filed a police report and checked our insurance, which told us not to bother, not enough value.

    It felt like a world of vindication when several years later when I got a call from a PD outside Denver that they had been recovered during an attempted pawn transaction. Seems a guy who worked as a maintenance worker at our apartment complex (see had keys for every door) claims he found them in a field. So, he said, he stripped them and put them in ziplock bags in his toilet tank for safe keeping. Then a few years later tried to pawn them. All evidence was circumstantial and they couldn't charge him they said. If it had been local, he'd have gotten paid a visit. But as is, I was just happy to be vindicated of suspicion and get my toy back.

    So good on you. You never know the circumstances, and you probably made someone's day!
    Caveman Jim likes this.
  14. mkwerx

    Rock Creek
    Polymer Prom Queen Silver Supporter

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    Ya'll are assuming the guy who had the gun stolen even had insurance to cover it or a low enough deductable to trigger it.

    I am sure the guy will be thrilled to get it back provided he is still alive. Good on you for returning it. Boo on WaGov and the feds for not checking earlier. I thought every stolen gun got entered into NCIC - maybe thats wishful thinking... may you find two consecutive serial numbered factory original guns as a karmic reward :D
    spookshack, Cardoff and uscsoldier like this.
  15. uscsoldier

    Salem, OR
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    I bought new gun from a shop in Albuquerque NM years ago. I traded the gun to a friend a few years later. Some time after that he tried to trade it in on a new gun and it came back as stolen. I still had my original receipt and I shared it with the police. Gun had been stolen from a delivery truck along with dozens of other firearms. Gun shop had gone out of business so there was zero chance of a refund. We agreed to surender it to the police and split the loss. Approx 2 years later my friend was contacted by a Sgt from the Albuquerque police department, he stated that the investigation was over and there would be no trial and that my friend could come retrieve the firearm. When he picked it up there were engravings all over it from the police evidence room. Neither of us wanted anything to do with it so we sold it and split the proceeds.
  16. Belial

    Vancouver, WA
    Active Member

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    Washington uses just NICS directly with the 4473 at the point of sale followed with a handgun application form that goes to DOL and your local LEO. If you had a permit you can cash and carry with a NICS check, which does not check anything with the firearm itself. NICS just requires type of firearm to complete. Thus you could have a firearm in hand before DOL or local LEO has checked to see if it was stolen.

    It probably took them 10 months to figure out how to tie their shoes...
  17. Caveman Jim

    Caveman Jim
    West of Oly
    Springer Slayer Silver Supporter 2016 Volunteer 2017 Volunteer

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    Why didn't the pawn shop run the S#? I'll bet if they had it would have verified as stolen.:rolleyes:
    billdeserthills likes this.
  18. thorborg

    portland oregon
    Well-Known Member 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    A California gun? Much tyranny has manifested itself in that politically ugly state!
    Icon or not, likely headed for the melting pot!
    Caveman Jim likes this.
  19. 66PonyCar

    Tigard, OR
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    Glad to see the Sheriff's office was reasonable. Doubly glad that the gun shop did the right thing and gave you your money back. It would be interesting to know what happens to the gun after this.
    sixfoot674 and Sgt Nambu like this.
  20. HB of CJ

    HB of CJ
    42.17N -123.64W ?
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    Respectfully. ...

    Something does not add up here. Another state after how many years? Why/how would your Sheriff know or even care? Unless of course the gun was "collectable" in the eyes of certain individuals.

    How can your Sheriff even prove the gun was stolen? I am thinking scam here. Yes that is paranoid but it fits.

    If the insurance in CA paid off on the gun, just then who does the gun belong to? Not the owner in CA. Perhaps the insurance company? I still am having problems burning through selective "collectablity".

    Now we learn the statute of limits in CA is 3 years? Is this true? If so, then by legal definition the gun is no longer considered stolen in CA? And if that is true why or how would YOUR Sheriff become involved?

    I would have asked the Sheriff to provide documentation to you and your lawyer before I turned over anything. To have the Sheriff threaten to "come out and pick the gun up" would not work.

    ... Except as a scam? Respectfully.
    Ruger Rich likes this.

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