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Defender

Stolen Gun Recovery Advice

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Several years ago, I discovered that one of my pistols had been stolen.  I made a police report to Metro, and i also listed it on hotgunz.com as stolen.  yesterday I got a call from a guy who has found the gun on a website for sale, was going to buy it but ran the serial number against hotgunz.com and saw it was reported stolen, so he contacted me from that site.  He has talked to the seller but has not told him what he discovered yet about the gun being stolen.  The potential buyer wont buy it now of course, and put the guy off until today.  I have the seller's phone number and its local to Nashville.  The buyer said the seller was very forthcoming about giving him the serial number and he didnt think the seller knows its stolen...  I contacted metro and they sent an officer out last night who said all he could do was make another report...He suggested that if I contact the seller to get my gun back, that i should meet in a public place...really not as much help as I had hoped for, really, even though I know they have other priorities, I would have thought they would be interested in getting a stolen gun off the street.

In any event, I need to move quick before they guy sells the gun.  I have thought about calling him and explaining that its mine and ask for it back, and show him the police report where I reported it stolen back in 2012..  Not sure what to do if he refuses.  Does anyone have any experience with this type of situation nd can offer any advice? Ive got top do something within a few hours this morning...   Thanks guys, I appreciate it.

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Give some thought to contacting your local ATF field office immediately and letting them handle it. Tell them exactly what you told us. (Did Metro PD send an officer out to you, or to the seller? That part is not clear to me...)

You could also contact the seller and arrange to meet in the next couple of days, to try to encourage them to hang onto the gun...

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Call Metro and ask to speak with a Command Officer.

 “they sent an officer out last night who said all he could do was make another report” As a former cop, I don’t know what that means. Does that mean the person there denied any knowledge?

They don’t have anything more important to do than getting a stolen gun off the streets. Unfortunately, you may have to follow-up to get them to do their job. Most cops aren’t like that; but some are.

Or…as suggest you can contact the BATF and see if they want to help you.

 

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Defender, please keep us posted on what you do and the results.  What you learn could be most instructive for all of us on here.

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WOW! That's strange. I would think the police would want to recover a stolen gun. 

I'd go with the previous advice. Call the police again and also contact BATF.  I wouldn't call the guy. That'll put him on alert. He may just be an innocent victim who unknowingly bought it or he may be a thief himself. You don't know. Let the cops handle it. 

Bear in mind that if its recovered, it may be some time before you actually get it back. Cops gotta do their thing ya know. 

Edited by Grayfox54
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Whatever you do, I wouldn't meet that guy alone. Bring a friend or two. Meet in a very public place.  I'm curious to see what the BATFE has to say. 

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5 minutes ago, Erik88 said:

Whatever you do, I wouldn't meet that guy alone. Bring a friend or two. Meet in a very public place.  I'm curious to see what the BATFE has to say. 

To be clear, I'm not sure I'd actually plan to meet, either. But arranging a time to meet may keep the gun in the seller's hands for just a bit longer.

If you do meet, insist on meeting at the local PD. A seller ignorant of the gun's past should have no problem with that. 

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This isn't exactly pertinent to the OP story but, I had a next door neighbor pass away and they had to break glass in door to gain access and there were at least 1/2 dozen guns that I knew about. Next day I talked to the Sheriff's investigator and explained that they didn't secure the house and that there were guns inside. Long story short they did exactly nothing. It was several weeks before the neighbor's brother had a friend go and get the guns. Didn't make any sense to me. So it really doesn't surprise me that the LEO didn't go get the gun right then. Kind of like all these mass shooters whom several had been reported to the authorities and nothing was done. Sorry to steal thread.

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Well I probably screwed up my chances of getting my gun back.  I couldn't get a hold of anyone beyond a dispatcher for metro pd, so I ended up calling the guy and texting with him.  He at first just insisted that I had the wrong number, then said the phone was new and he just got it a week ago and had 10 calls about a gun,  and he dont know about any gun.  I tried explaining that i wasnt pressing charges and just wanted it back, but he was in denial all the way.  Funny thing is, he was texting back and forth with the potential buyer form armslist all day yesterday about the gun.  After seeing some advice here, I too late called metro dispatch and asked for a command or sgt to call me and a Sgt did, who in turn reached out to a detective, who i think tried to help.  He called the guy and explained that I just wanted my gun back and no charges were going to be pressed, etc...but the guy denied it again.  I emailed a screen shot of the guy's cell number sending the gun picture with serial number in view to the metro PD but the detective didnt seem to think he could so much even with that, unless the guy called him back when the detective asked him to if he changed his mind.  I thought I was doing the right thing to call metro in the first place...then when they werent helpful, i thought id try a personal approach.    I thought about trying to buy the gun and setting up a meet, and then showing up with the stolen gun police report instead of cash, but I imagine that would have went sideways pretty quick./.....I thought I was so close to getting it back...I guess we have hamstrung our police these days to the point that this crap happens unabated...its a crying shame...really it is...

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17 minutes ago, Defender said:

I guess we have hamstrung our police these days to the point that this crap happens unabated...its a crying shame...really it is...

We have, but this isn’t a case of it. If you had a photo with the serial number information sent from a phone number that could be traced to an address; that’s enough to get a search warrant. Of course none of that probably would have been necessary if the lazy azz Detective would have got out of his chair and went out to do his job, as most cops would, and talk to the guy. No wonder the public gets disgusted with the Police sometimes.

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@Defender it's possible that the seller thinks you're trying to scam them, but in your shoes I'd go ahead and contact your local field office of BATFE ASAP.

Be sure to let them know that you filed a police report originally, followed up with PD now, contacted the seller, and have a screenshot showing serial number and seller's phone number.

 

Scroll down a bit to find the section for criminal enforcement:

https://www.atf.gov/nashville-field-division/tennessee-field-offices

Edited by TomInMN
Sloppy spelling, added callout
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18 minutes ago, DaveTN said:

We have, but this isn’t a case of it. If you had a photo with the serial number information sent from a phone number that could be traced to an address; that’s enough to get a search warrant. Of course none of that probably would have been necessary if the lazy azz Detective would have got out of his chair and went out to do his job, as most cops would, and talk to the guy. No wonder the public gets disgusted with the Police sometimes.

Yes I emailed him a screenshot of the stolen gun showing both the serial number and the phone number of the guy who sent the text.  Detective said he ran the phone number but it didnt come back with a name and he wasnt sure if he had enough for a warrant.  I know metro PD stay busy all the time, and there a lot of violent crime to attend to, and investigate, but i had hoped they'd see this both as a prevention kind of thing as well as a relatively easy 'solve'.  I still think if i had met the guy, though, it wouldnt have ended well.  And if that happened Im sure Id have been considered at fault for trying to handle it myself.  It was a nice gun too, lol, not that that matters.  It was more of a sentimental thing for me.  I got it years ago from an old commander of mine in the military...guy i respected a lot.

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25 minutes ago, TomInMN said:

@Defender it's possible that the seller thinks you're trying to scam them, but in your shoes I'd go ahead and contact your local field office of BATFE ASAP.

Be sure to let them know that you filed a police report originally, followed up with PD now, contacted the seller, and have a screenshot showing serial number and seller's phone number.

 

Scroll down a bit to find the section for criminal enforcement:

https://www.atf.gov/nashville-field-division/tennessee-field-offices

Thanks, I'lldo that...

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Yes, call Batf. 

Don't want to hijack this thread, but I had a gun stolen not long ago. A Smith & Wesson Model 10-6 HB .38 Special. Serial # D191385.  Its easy to spot due to a black aftermarket finish and rubber grips.  I had loaned it to a lady friend who is disabled and lives by herself in a rather questionable part of Memphis. Several months ago she had to have surgery and because she lives alone had to spend about 6 weeks in a nursing home until she was able to care for herself. All told she was away from home for about 2 months. 

Her landlord is cheap and has a habit of hiring cheap labor for repairs. (drunks and druggies). We know he was in the house at least twice while she was gone. BTW: we do not suspect him. We think one of his laborers took it. She just noticed it was gone about a month ago. 

Anyway she called the Police and they sent an officer out to take a report. The officer called me and I gave him a full description and the serial number. A detective has contacted both of us to say that the gun has been entered into the database and they are watching for it. I've also entered it into the Hotgunz.com data base. 

So if anybody should run across it, I'd appreciate it if you'd let me know. 

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On 11/14/2019 at 10:45 AM, TomInMN said:

@Defender, any update on this?

not really.  Metro PD was not any help.  The patrolman didnt even really want to take a report and said that would be the end of it if he did.  I filed one anyway.  Next day, at the advice of someone on here, I contacted a supervisor sgt, who at least got me thru to the detectives.  Spoke with the detective twice.  Second time he said he had called the guy advertising the gun, but the guy denied having any gun at all.  Detective said there was  not anything he could do beyond that...even with the supporting information and screenshots of the guys text messages with his phone number  and that included the guys pic of the gun showing the serial number!  I know they are busy, I do, but I really dont Know what else I could have given them...  If the detective wanted to, I think he could have gotten a warrant based on the evidence I provided.  Im not going to start bashing the police here, but Im pretty miffed.  As far as the BATF goes, they dont return my calls so far...  The guys furtiveness and denials smack of suspicion to me.  I would bet a dollar to a donut that either he knew the gun was hot, or he's a felon  and not allowed to have  one.  Although I never really expected to get that gun back, once I saw it the other day, I kinda got my hopes up...sad it slipped through my fingers. It wasnt JUST a random gun...i got it in the early 80's from an old USAF commander back when I was in the service. Im wondering if I should have set up a meet with the guy and dealt with it myself...

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Yes, you should have set up a meet, and had a "friend" LEO tag along.

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I always give the cops the benefit of the doubt. I’ve never made any excuses for that. Until they don’t deserve it.

This is one of those cases. I hate it that you are talking to some lazy azz cops that don’t want to do their job. Hopefully that paperwork will get the attention of a Metro cop that’s on top of things.

You can’t go meet this guy. He’s a criminal and he’s armed. How do you think that will end?

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3 hours ago, Garufa said:

Would the TBI be of any use in a situation like this?

I would think so, especially if it leads to a larger gun theft group, which may be a possibility. 

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Imagine the headline if this gun ended up being used in a crime. "Stolen gun, ignored by police used to kill "xyz". Maybe the police need to be reminded of this potential outcome...

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18 hours ago, DaveTN said:

I always give the cops the benefit of the doubt. I’ve never made any excuses for that. Until they don’t deserve it.

This is one of those cases. I hate it that you are talking to some lazy azz cops that don’t want to do their job. Hopefully that paperwork will get the attention of a Metro cop that’s on top of things.

You can’t go meet this guy. He’s a criminal and he’s armed. How do you think that will end?

You're right, thats why i did it this way...guess now im just hind sightinjg things...

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Get the local news involved? That might open up a can of worms. How would the police like that kind of press, doing almost nothing about a stolen firearm?

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1 hour ago, 94user said:

Get the local news involved? That might open up a can of worms. How would the police like that kind of press, doing almost nothing about a stolen firearm?

They don’t have time to put it on the news. They are too busy telling us every night about how many people the convicted felons in possession of stolen firearms shot that day.

Edited by DaveTN
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