I got my pistol back!!


October 8, 2004, 11:11 PM
Five years ago, I went out and purchased my first handgun, a Ruger Blackhawk in .357 mag. I had spent months debating what I wanted, either a semi-auto, or a single action revolver, and the revolver eventually won out. It took me months to finally save up for it, but in the end, it was mine.

Three years ago, I put the pistol in it's locked case, and put it in my truck on my way to work, planning on hitting the shooting range on my way home. I piled all the debris in the back of my truck on top of it so that it wouldn't be seen. That night, my my truck was broken into, and I lost 200 CDs, a backpack full of camping/survival gear, and my beloved handgun, that I had worked so hard to purchase. The Police told me I would never see it again, that if it was ever recovered, it would be after a shooting, and it would be destroyed.

Two years ago I recieved a phone call from an FBI agent in California, they had raided a gang house, and found my pistol. Even better, it hadn't been used in a crime. I was promised that eventually, probably later that year, I would recieve it back. I was told the fact that it was a single action revolver probably prevented the criminals from using it.

After all of this waiting, 2 years of the badguy appealing the search, all of the trials of the other bangers, he finally pled guilty, and the path was cleared for me to recieve my handgun back.

Today, finally, I was reunited with my Blackhawk, nicknamed back when I got it as O'le Rose.

I can't tell you how excited I am to finally have the my first handgun back where it belongs, in my hand.

Even better, it is still in great condition!!! They even left the silica gel packets in the case. The case is pretty beat up, you can see where they tried to saw through it.

Now I must go back to fondling my revolver.


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Larry Ashcraft
October 8, 2004, 11:19 PM
Congratulations! Glad it all turned out well.

Now go out and SHOOT that gun. I'm sure she missed you. :)

Standing Wolf
October 8, 2004, 11:41 PM
All riiiiiiight!

October 8, 2004, 11:52 PM
Congratulations its always glad to get something back.

October 9, 2004, 12:04 AM
Thats awesome!

Buy a lottery ticket.

October 9, 2004, 12:35 AM
Ya know, that's the best thing I've ever heard on any forum, anywhere, any time. Up here, you'd not only not get it back, but you would have been charged with unsafe storage despite being the victim of a crime. U.S. gun laws are confused and confusing, but at least justice prevails.
You really should do something for the FBI guy. Don't ask me what. I'd think it'd be best to post this on every firearm forum there is. Telling the entire firearm world about the FBI getting you your property back wouldn't be a bad thing.
With your permission, I can post it on a Canadian forum and a bunch of other forums, but only with your approval.

cracked butt
October 9, 2004, 12:42 AM
Congrats, and hurray for the FBI:cool:

October 9, 2004, 02:05 AM

If you don't mind me asking - it seems like you are in a different state from the one where the gun was recovered.

How did the FBI get it back to you? Did they send it to a dealer near you for the transfer or did they just ship it to you via UPS or FedEx?

Mr. Mysterious
October 9, 2004, 08:08 AM
Well, if he owned it they can ship it right to him. Like when you ship a handgun out to get repaired.

October 9, 2004, 08:35 AM
Let this be a reminder, folks:

Keep a list of all your firearms by make/model/serial number, and provide that data to the cops should one ever go missing. Happy endings from gun thefts are more and more common these days, since most states allow (or require) gun stores and pawn shops to check serial numbers against a stolen guns database when they buy a used gun. There's nothing sadder than having some dejected ol' feller come into the shop and describe the guns he had stolen, hopefully asking if anybody'd tried to sell 'em to us, and finding out that he didn't provide the cops with serial numbers. :(


I love a happy ending! :)

October 9, 2004, 09:26 AM
I'm a sucker for a happy ending :)

Congrats on getting your baby back.

October 9, 2004, 09:48 AM
There's nothing sadder than having some dejected ol' feller come into the shop and describe the guns he had stolen, hopefully asking if anybody'd tried to sell 'em to us, and finding out that he didn't provide the cops with serial numbers. :(

Ya know, I keep telling myself to make a good record. I still haven't. :uhoh: I'm about to head out to the gun show and then the range. I think when I'm cleaning tonight I'll dig out the digicam and make a few records.

Oh, and itgoesboom, congratulations! Take her to the range today to celebrate.

October 9, 2004, 03:45 PM
After being without it for that long, its almost like getting a new gun, or at least, a new to you gun.

Nice, and also very nice to hear that it was not destroyed! This is proof positive that you MUST record your serial numbers of your guns, just in case something happens.

The minute I walk in the house with a new item, I take down the serial number in my record book.


J Miller
October 9, 2004, 05:09 PM
I have a record book that goes back to my first gun, some 30 odd years ago.
I've some stollen and only got two back. So I do know how you feel.

My brother just sent me a digital camera and as soon as I can get my home pc fixed so it will work with the camera I'm going to put all this on a computer program and put it in a safer place.

I've also wondered how you would recieve a gun back if it was stollen in one state and recovered in another.


October 9, 2004, 05:18 PM
The FBI had your gun? Since when does the FBI conduct drug raids?

I'm curious as to how it was returned. You said "The FBI in CA..." like you don't live there. The LAPD recovered one of my stolen guns and refused to ship it to me or allow an FFL to ship it to my state. I had to pick it up in person.

October 9, 2004, 05:47 PM
that deserve a cold one!!!! you guys deserve a second honeymoon!!!;)

October 9, 2004, 07:53 PM
A few people asked about the transfer and such.

I purchased the handgun in California when I lived there, just a few months after turning 21. By law, all handguns in Ca are registered. So when the pistol was stolen, when I called the cops (minutes after the break-in), they were able to pull up the serial number on their little computer, and report it stolen only minutes after it was stolen. Probably the only positive thing I can say about registration :barf:

About six months after it was stolen, I moved from San Diego up to Portland, Or. I contacted the SDPD, and was told that I would never see the pistol again, it will be used in a crime...etc etc. But I left them my new contact information. It never made it to the FBI....in addition to other errors made.

Six months after that, I got a phone call from my old apt. manager, telling me that an FBI agent was sniffing around for me. They gave me his number, and I called him up.

Turns out the FBI was raiding a gang house, and they found the pistol in one of the back rooms. The pulled up the serial number, and found that it was registered to me.

At first they didn't realize that the pistol was stolen, because the Police Officer who wrote down the serial number wrote down the wrong #.....one digit off. So this caused all sorts of confusion, and I had to account for when I purchased it, what exactly had happened. Also, the BG was claiming that he "purchased" the pistol from somebody, than changed his story to he "found" it.

Fortunatly, the FBI agent, who I have now been dealing with for the past two years was able to get everything cleared up for me. I was able to assist the FBI in proving that the pistol was mine by showing some photos I had taken when I first purchased.

So after the BG and all his buddies were convicted or pled guilty, and the time for appeals was over, the pistol was shipped up to the FBI office here in Portland. That was about 2 weeks ago, and I was given notice that this was happening.

The other day I recieved a call from another agent setting up a time to meet at my work to drop off the pistol. I think it suprised the heck out of her to find she could give me a pistol at my workplace. :what:

So what else can I say? My faith in the system has been somewhat restored, and I no-longer fear all FBI agents.


October 10, 2004, 03:24 AM
It was gratifying to learn that a stolen handgun was returned to its rightful owner. From what I have been given to understand, thats kinda unusual.

After the settlement from your insurance carrier, just who is the 'rightful owner'? I've had a couple of handguns stolen and the replacement price, less deductable, was paid to me by my insurance company. As I understand it, the stolen weapons are now the property of my insurance carrier.

For this reason, I have been told confidentially by a local Deputy, that recovered handguns are used by undercover officers, the local academy, firearms testing lab, or torched and sold as scrap.

Maybe this procedure is no longer being followed here locally or it might just pertain to handguns. I suspect if the stolen property were an 1873 engraved cherry Winchester, or a Purdy side by side smooth bore worth mega bucks, the local Police Depts might be a little more dilligent in returning the stolen property.

It might also have something to do with the local climate regarding handgun ownership.

Do any of you LEOs or theft victims have any comments?



Smokey Joe
October 10, 2004, 08:37 PM
Glad for you, IGB! Recently had a car break-in myself--had the car, vacation supplies including 3 firearms stolen from me when on a trip to Missouri--of all things, to a game ranch for a hunt I'd won. Did the hunt (with a borrowed rifle); reported the serial #'s and descriptions to the local PD, etc, etc. Am currently hassling with my homeowners ins. re. reimbursement.

Your story raises my hopes just a little, of ever seeing my guns back.

BTW, I learned the hard way that older GM cars' locks are only good for keeping honest people out. Don't have a complete listing, but apparently recent Asian cars are the best for keeping BG's out. Therefore have replaced my stolen Buick station wagon with a Honda mini van. Have had it about a week; it works nice.

Found out the hard way that there is an appalling amount of $$ tied up in dumb stuff like pants, underwear, shoes, & toothpaste. When wife & I decided to continue the vacation trip in a rented car, we went shopping for just necessaries--and spent about $800! Ye gods!

October 11, 2004, 09:46 AM
In any case we get involving a firearm, we run the serial numbers through the system to see if it was reported stolen. We also run an ATF check to look for the original owner. If it was, we attempt to contact the rightful owner, which is not always as simple as it might seem. People move on, but don't leave any forwarding information. I know, you can find anyone if you look hard enough, but with the case loads growing ever higher, this doesn't always become a priority.

Once onwership has been established, we then look to see if an insurance claim was paid. If insurance has paid the owner, the gun is now property of the insurance company. If not, then arragements are made for the owner to pick it up, with proper I.D. and a quick criminal history check.

As for other guns, such as evidence guns and unidentified owners, under Ohio law they may be used for law enforcement purposes, sold or traded in if "suitable for sporting purposes" (daon't ask me), or destroyed. In my part of the owrld, most are traded in so the underfunded agencies can buy necessary equipment. Some are kept for law enforcement, if suitable.

Glad to hear that we're not the only ones trying to return property to the proper owners.

Smokey Joe
October 11, 2004, 11:57 AM
So, what you're saying, CAS700850, is that if my gun is stolen, likely it'll never turn up, but if it does, and I got $$ for it from my insurance (so I can replace it and have a gun to use), then, I'll STILL never see it.

So, as a law-abiding citizen, first I suffer the loss of my weapon. Then I get underpaid for it by the insurance company. Then when it finally does turn up, and the courts are through with it, etc, I lose it all over again.

Or do I get to underpay the insurance company for it?

Still seems like a bad deal to me.

Best not to have the gun stolen in the first place. Guess I need a Rottweiler or a Chesapeake Bay retriever for a car dog.

Smokey Joe
October 11, 2004, 11:57 AM

October 11, 2004, 05:17 PM
I love reading threads with a happy ending. Enjoy your shooting with a firearm that obviously means so much to you!

October 11, 2004, 05:17 PM
Sorry for the double post!

October 11, 2004, 05:33 PM
That is amazing! :D

Ky Larry
October 11, 2004, 07:21 PM
A couple of years ago, my neighbors 16 y.o. punk kid stole my CZ-75B out of my car. Thank God the police got it back for me before he could hurt anyone. I learned a lesson about gun security and responsibility and got my gun back. I took a picture of each one of my firearms and had 3 copies made. I wrote the serial # and the make and model on the back of each picture. I keep one set in my safe deposit box at the bank, one set in a secure location at work, and another set in my lock box at home.

"An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure."

October 11, 2004, 07:25 PM
Yay for the FBI! :)

October 11, 2004, 08:55 PM
For those who asked about the insurance.

If the insurance company pays you for whatever is stolen, than they own it if it is recovered.

In my case, my insurace deductible was so high for items stolen, that it wouldn't have been worth it to make a claim.

Because of that, I was able to get the pistol back, and not have to give it to the insurace co.


Smokey Joe
October 11, 2004, 11:08 PM
Well, IGB, I am sure glad it did work out for you.

'Nuff said.

Kahr carrier
October 12, 2004, 12:37 AM
Congrats on getting the Ruger back.:D

October 12, 2004, 02:01 PM

Sorry it took a while to respond. Work got in the way.

I confirmed with my wife, who works in the insurance industry, that most policies state that if you are paid for any item that is lost or stolen, and that item is later recovered, at that point it belongs to the insurance company.

Here's the tricky part, that burns my butt. Some companies are willing to negotiate with a property owner to allow recovery of the item (firearm) for cost, meaning you return what they paid, you get your gun. However, and this will come as no surprise to all of you, many companies are not so inclined. My buddy who runs the lab and firearms lab/property room for a local police department told me that most insurance companies do not wish to recover the firearm, and if contacted about a recovered gun for which payment has been made, they will direct the recovering law enforcement agency to destroy the gun, regardless fo what it is. With real sadness in his voice, he told me of the many valuable firearms he's seen cut in half, then melted down, for this reason, including a genuine WWII Luger in excellent condition.

Lessons to be learned: 1. Ask your insurance agent about your company's policy and procedure on this point before you are in the situation, and make an informed decision on whether you want that company collecting your premiums. 2. SECURE YOUR GUNS!

Smokey Joe
October 12, 2004, 04:24 PM
CAS700850--Thanx for the comeback. Will DEFINITELY be checking w/my ins. co. on this point, and will re-insure with them or not depending on their answer.

Paying them back the devalued price they paid you for the stolen firearm, when/if it is recovered is perfectly fair; I have no problem @all w/that.

Apologize if I sounded grouchy abt. it. Am settling today w/the car insurer for my stolen vehicle (the car-contents insurer is a different co.) and their "total loss department" rep is a bit of an a**.

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