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  #1  
Old 02-04-2013, 8:14 PM
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Question Anyone ever get a stolen gun returned by LE?

Last time I went shooting my G17 Gen3, I wished I still had my G17 Gen1. Unfortunately, that gun and another handgun was stolen in a home burglery in the mid 90s.

I reported the burglery to the local LE, and have hoped for years that some idiot would get caught with one of my guns and it or they would miraculously return home to me!

Flash forward nearly 20 years... nada, zip, zilch, zero! I havent heard a thing from any agency.

Has anyone here at CGN ever recovered a gun that had been stolen? If so, what were your circumstances? Did you call LE, or did you get a call or letter? Is there some database that can be searched by former owners to see if their guns resurface ever somewhere?
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Old 02-04-2013, 8:21 PM
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A friend had one returned by the FBI about 8 years after it was stolen. They called him after the legal procedings were finished, they had it for 5 years. It still took 6 months and alot of phone calls to get it back.
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Old 02-04-2013, 8:26 PM
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Late 70's S&W 28-2 stolen from our home. Reported to the SDCS, have never heard anything!
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Old 02-04-2013, 8:27 PM
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I've taken multiple handguns off of parolees and gangsters. Not a single one was registered or reported stolen.
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Old 02-04-2013, 8:31 PM
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I had a Ruger P90 stolen in 2007. The Pacifica, CA patrolman that took report, etc was more interested in asking my wife (then girlfriend) out on a date!! LOL!!

I call them about once or twice a year and after perpetual hold, no dice.

I'll keep calling & hopefully once day ill get it back. Although unlikely.
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Old 02-04-2013, 8:40 PM
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I got one back! Home burglarized Dec 2008. Get a call mid-2010 from my local PD. LA PD recovered it off a perp 6 months after the burglary......took another year to clear the trial, etc. and get it back to me!
Also have a buddy who's dad got one back 27 years after the fact! It's rare, but it DOES happen.
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Old 02-04-2013, 8:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric B View Post
I've taken multiple handguns off of parolees and gangsters. Not a single one was registered or reported stolen.
Where/how are they getting them?
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  #8  
Old 02-04-2013, 8:48 PM
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Yes. Our house was broken into in the mid-80s. Several guns were stolen, and the PD recovered one of them about a year later. It was returned to me a few weeks after they got it back.
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Old 02-04-2013, 11:15 PM
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A friend had his house broken into. Handgun stolen. Recovered not long after (6 mos or so) and returned to him.
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  #10  
Old 02-04-2013, 11:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dandingo13 View Post
Where/how are they getting them?
Alot of guns out there are untraceable. Private party to private party sales, no paperwork involved. Combine that with alot of people that don't bother to keep records of their serial numbers. When they get stolen, there is no serial number available to put into the database.
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  #11  
Old 02-05-2013, 12:08 AM
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Additionally, most states don't actually have a handgun registry like CA does. For example, I'm in WA now and there is no registration and the state doesn't keep any sort of records. If I didn't keep the serial numbers of my guns on purpose just in case a theft or whatever happens, I would not have them to provide to the police and the guns would not be able to be tracked back to me.

When buying from an FFL, I'm able to just keep the paperwork in my filing cabinet. However, when buying private party there usually is no paperwork. It would be very easy to just add the gun to the collection and not think twice about it. I do actually just jot down the model and serial number and put that in the ol' filing cabinet as well, just in case.

BUT... another question... if a gun of mine were stolen and I told the local police in my town in WA here about it and provided them with the serial number, would that go into a Federal database? Meaning if it ended up in California, for instance, and in the hands of the police would they be able to plug in the serial number and find out that it was stolen from me up in Washington?

Also, even in CA, there are thousands and thousands of handguns that are not registered. There wasn't always a registration! Lots of old folks with service weapons from wars or law enforcement or just stuff they bought and never put in the system. Even if one was stolen, it can only be "reported stolen" for the purposes of the police report if they plug in the serial number and it comes up with a record. If the owner can't provide the serial number because they don't know it, then it can't be traced when it's found on a criminal.

...plenty of ways to find guns that are not registered and are not "reported stolen."
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  #12  
Old 02-05-2013, 1:37 AM
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In California some 25 yrs ago I had a friend who owned a series 70 colt combat commander lightweight stolen in a burglary. He used the insurance proceeds to buy his first HK-91. Eight years later the local police called him up and told him he could come down and pick up his pistol. It was recovered in Northern California in a drug bust. It looked no worse for the wear from what we could tell when he got it back.
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  #13  
Old 02-05-2013, 7:54 AM
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my home was broken into last November and two handguns were stolen. within 12hrs the police were in an unrelated foot chase with an ex-con gang member on parole and he tossed one of my loaded guns! gun was recovered and guy went on trial already. I just got a call yesterday from the police regarding picking my gun up from them.
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  #14  
Old 02-05-2013, 8:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dandingo13 View Post
Where/how are they getting them?
Where else, the infamous gunshow loophole.

Is you purchase a handgun from a FFL dealer, is that the process of registration?
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  #15  
Old 02-05-2013, 8:03 AM
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When we built the target range in Van Nuys we were burglarized and 8 handguns were stolen. Mike Gibbons was hit same time they caught the 17 year old selling the guns at school. We got all of them back.
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Old 02-05-2013, 8:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edgerly779 View Post
When we built the target range in Van Nuys we were burglarized and 8 handguns were stolen. Mike Gibbons was hit same time they caught the 17 year old selling the guns at school. We got all of them back.
If we are ever going to get our country back on track, we need to do something about teaching these kids right from wrong if their parents aren't going to do it.
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  #17  
Old 02-05-2013, 8:24 AM
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One of mine was taken by a "friend" when I was younger. He was arrested with it on him. It was a .22 that was modeled after the Walther ppk.

This was almost 20 years ago, but I got my gun back after a month or so. The SN was ground off, and the bluing was jacked up from the acid the police used to pull the SN off the metal. I still have it, and doubt I can sell it due to the SN being destroyed. It just sits in the back of my safe now.
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  #18  
Old 02-05-2013, 8:31 AM
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Yes. I had a gun stolen from my apt. Reported it as such, and carried on with my life. 12 yrs later, I received a subpoena (as the "victim") to testify in court. Once the case was disposed, and after much hassle, the gun was grudgingly returned by the dept that had possession. However, they destroyed it before returning it.

In retrospect, considering the time spent (both in court and fighting for its return), I pretty much wish it never turned back up.
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  #19  
Old 02-05-2013, 8:32 AM
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Back in the mid 90's, I had a gun cabinet rather than a gun safe. Home was buglurized and I lost 10 or 11 guns. Gave all the id info to the PD. I've never heard a word about any of them. I used to have hope as I knew someone who'd had one come back after 10 years. I've long since given up.
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  #20  
Old 02-05-2013, 8:38 AM
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My dad recovered my grandfather's colt detective special. Gramps had already passed and this was at least 30 if not 40 years later. Gun was in great shape and still in its holster! Stolen in SoCal recovered in Colorado. Luckily we had already planned a vacation out there so he swung by the local PD and picked it up. The only reason they were able to trace the original owner was because the gun had been listed on my grandfathers ccw permit.

Another friend's service pistol was found on a banger six months later. It does happen.
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  #21  
Old 02-05-2013, 8:46 AM
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About 6 years ago I had a knock on my door and it was two detectives from the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Dept. They were looking for my grandma, but she was dead. They had recovered a shotgun stolen in a burglary at my grandparents home in the late 70`s. I guess during the time LAPD was running gang sweeps and it was found during one of them. I referred them to my aunt and she was able to recover it.

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  #22  
Old 02-05-2013, 8:59 AM
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Well some very promising info here... Some stolen guns do return home!

For those of you who have recovered them, is there anything I can do as the former owner (other than the original report filed with LE)? Should I call the PD on a regular basis?
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  #23  
Old 02-05-2013, 5:46 PM
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Way back in the early 80s, I had a Ruger standard 22 with 6" barrel stolen while it was at my brothers house. About a year later, I got a call that it had been recovered from a junkie when he was arrested for breaking into houses. The gun was returned in great condition.
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Old 02-05-2013, 6:14 PM
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yup and it was long enough to where I got to keep my insurance check as well
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Old 02-05-2013, 6:16 PM
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yup and it was long enough to where I got to keep my insurance check as well
Hell, that makes me want to keep my safe unlocked.
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Old 02-05-2013, 6:24 PM
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Had a beretta 70 taken in the early '90's... got a call about four years later from Oakland PD. It was found in a crack house (popular then). It looked like someone had tossed it in the bed of a pickup and drove around for about three weeks. There were feathers under the grips O.o wtf feathers ? Still have it, shoots great, looks like hell.
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Old 02-05-2013, 6:30 PM
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My father had a Ruger .22 revolver returned to him after 12 years. When he picked up it was a bubba special with a .22 rifle scope jerry rigged onto it. Wish i had some pics. Has since been sold. The best one was when my uncle picked up his stolen .44 at S.J. P.D. storage. They slid it through the drawer and he walked down the hall with it. He stopped at a little table to put it in a container. He cleared it and realized it was ..........LOADED!
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Old 02-05-2013, 6:40 PM
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Yup. Had a Colt 1911 Govt. model stolen. Showed up a few years later in the hands of a guy doing a robbery who was nabbed with my Colt. Sheriff's dept. called me and said to come and pick it up. It was in perfect condition and even had a trigger job done to it. The gun was handed to me in a heavy manilla envelope which not only had the .45 but a full magazine (not inserted) included. I tried to make small talk with the sheriff that was doing the paperwork, but he didn't respond to a single thing I said. The only thing he said was "drivers license" and "sign here". Guess he wasn't too happy about giving the gun back to the rightful owner.
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Old 02-05-2013, 6:56 PM
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Default it was august of 1993.....

when some of the neighborhood teens(we found out later) broke into our townhouse & stole two handguns, a Glock Gen2 17L, & a Rossi model 88 2" stainless revolver, I had in the closet in locked pistol bags, on a high shelf.
a third pistol, a Glock 17 Gen2 was in a small lock box, which was not even touched. about 2 months after, had a message on the answering machine from local law enforcement, that they had recovered one of my guns, i could come pick it up. i had convinced myself it was the 17L, and was VERY disappointed when i showed up & it was the Rossi. only had that Glock longslide for 3 months before it was taken....(note to new gun owners: BUY A SAFE)
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Old 02-05-2013, 7:14 PM
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I lost 3 guns in a residential burglary in the 90s. After spoon feeding evidence to the local police dept they arrested the perps one of which was the neighborhood jackazz kid. I got one shotgun back. Detective on the case was a total butthead.
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Old 02-05-2013, 7:15 PM
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Someone stole my car in 1998. Had a 357 Colt python in a lock box. Reported it and the car stolen. Got a post card from San Bernardino County Sheriffs about a month after the theft. Said they had recovered some of my property. Please call the number. Did so, had to drive 100 miles to the station they gave it back to me in a brown paper bag.

Never found the car or other contents.

Thanks SBCS for returning my gun.

Sort of bummed out they wouldn't give me any more info. Just said they arrested someone that had the gun on them. They did tell me he said he bought it off "someguy". Also said the guy was in jail now for felony parole violation.
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  #32  
Old 02-06-2013, 6:50 PM
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Had my Sig P229 stolen in a home burglary. I got the insurance check and bought another. 7 years after I get a call from LAPD. My original was recovered in a gang bust and do I still want it?

2 phone calls, and a visited to downtown LA and I'm walking out of the big police building with my Sig in a paper bag.

It was surprisingly easy, I have since heard horror stories on how hard it is to get a pistol back.
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  #33  
Old 02-06-2013, 9:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rimjim View Post
Yup. Had a Colt 1911 Govt. model stolen. Showed up a few years later in the hands of a guy doing a robbery who was nabbed with my Colt. Sheriff's dept. called me and said to come and pick it up. It was in perfect condition and even had a trigger job done to it. The gun was handed to me in a heavy manilla envelope which not only had the .45 but a full magazine (not inserted) included. I tried to make small talk with the sheriff that was doing the paperwork, but he didn't respond to a single thing I said. The only thing he said was "drivers license" and "sign here". Guess he wasn't too happy about giving the gun back to the rightful owner.

Ever thought that maybe he was just busy with a bazillion other duties and didn't have time for small talk. It is important that the paperwork is correct, and small talk detracts from accuracy.

How you equate lack of small talk with not wanting to give you your gun back is a bit of a stretch in my opinion. I don't believe being rude is ever appropriate, but not wanting or having time to make small talk isn't necessarily being rude. When you show up to take a vandalism report, and you have five more calls pending (where people are watching their clock to see how fast you get there) you don't have time for small talk.

Most importantly, if you can't supply LE with the serial number, don't ever expect to see it again. You might get lucky with a handgun if they run the number and the person who has it can't, or won't answer the questions properly. Long guns, your chances are slim and none without a serial number. Slim is saddling his horse to leave town.

Everyone should make themselves a word or PDF document with the serial number and description of every gun they own. Email it to yourself and store it in an archive folder. That way you can access it anywhere you can access the Internet. I can get to mine on my iPhone, even without a signal.
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  #34  
Old 02-06-2013, 9:35 PM
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back in 80 something, my brother's house got burgled, and my colt trooper mk3 was stolen. many months later, yuba county sheriff called, and chp had recovered it during a vehicle stop, went to the court house, identified it, and got it back.
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  #35  
Old 02-07-2013, 8:58 AM
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No I didn't get mine back and the LEOs were not cooperative in helping either. The LAPD would not come out to the house to take a report.....simply wanted the info over the phone. Yes it is a true story.
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Old 02-07-2013, 9:17 AM
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I had 5 rifles and 7 Handguns stolen from my home in 98 (cheap safe but the weapons were top quality, I learned my lesson) I have called numerous times and after a new Chief of Police is appointed (twice) Every time I call they have no record of my report and I have to give them all the information all over again. I got tired of getting the run around and stopped calling last year. You can probably guess what my opinion of law enforcement is.
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Old 02-07-2013, 12:12 PM
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I had an SA 1911A1 and a hand safe stolen from my home by a contractor's hired help during a kitchen reno; I reported it and 3 days later, it turned up in San Diego in the hands of a drug dealer who was arrested in a sting. They sent the gun from San Diego to the Jurupa station of the Riverside Sheriffs Dept. and called me to pick it up. All I needed was my ID and a lockable box. They even returned it with the two full mags it had when it was stolen.

The officer that returned my gun spent a little time with me, comparing places to go waterfowling in SoCal. Good experience.
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Old 02-07-2013, 9:31 PM
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I had a Browning Hi Power stolen in 1977. Made a police report with a copy of the receipt that had the serial number. Never heard a thing. Damn shame, I'd really like to have that gun today.
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  #39  
Old 02-08-2013, 11:25 AM
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OMG!!!! YOU GOTTA READ THIS!!!

Because of the stories here and from a friend who recently recovered a stolen gun I have pursued this with vigor.
I assumed that the San Bernardino PD had placed my stolen handguns in the national database of stolen firearms... DO NOT ASSUME THIS!!!

I couldnt find my original copy of the burglery report from 96/97, so I contacted my old H.S. buddy who was my insurance agent back then.
They can only find my policy # and cant find any record of the claim, because all their records have been purged!
So I called the SBPD the agency that I made the burglery report to way back then....

First off I want to say that everyone at the SBPD I spoke with was extremely helpful and professional!
After being transferred several times and explaining the whole story to several people, I finally started to get some info!
First I was informed that my guns didnt even come up as stolen, the SBPD has also purged their records and there is no record of my burglery report.
Additionally, being that the sale was a private party sale in 1990, I didnt have to register the guns then, but I do still have the Bill of Sale and records of the serial numbers.

When I spoke with a very helpful woman in the gun locker I got the good/bad news.
Turns out that my gun was pulled from a perp back in 1998 and sat on a shelf until March of last year... then it was destroyed! If only I had made sure of all this a year ago!
While I am saddened by the news that my beloved Gen 1 G17 had been destroyed, at least I have the closure and knowledge that the gun isnt being used to commit a serious crime.

MORAL OF THE STORY -
IF YOU HAD A GUN(S) STOLEN, CALL YOUR PD AND MAKE SURE THE GUN(S) SHOW UP AS STOLEN, ARE IN THE NATIONAL DATABASE, AND THAT YOU SHOW AS THE REGISTERED OWNER!
__________________
Quote:
"Laws that forbid the carrying of arms...disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes. Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed one.
--Thomas Jefferson
Quote:
Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies. --Groucho Marx

Last edited by Darryl Licht; 02-08-2013 at 11:28 AM..
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  #40  
Old 02-08-2013, 11:31 AM
LoadedM333 LoadedM333 is offline
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I had a few handguns stolen from me I that never heard from but I did get back my AR from San Diego PD. So it does happen but rare.
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