Man in Utah is Reunited With Stolen Shotgun 37 Years Later

December 11 2014
by GSL Staff
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For many people, having a gun stolen means that gun is gone forever. However, sometimes a stolen gun does make it back to its owner. That’s the case with this story, although the process took longer than most people might think.

A man in Utah recently had a shotgun that was stolen from his 37 years ago returned by police.

Richard Pittenger lost the gun when it was stolen out of his truck while he was on a date. He was only 16 years old at the time. The gun recently showed up at a sporting goods store and still came up as stolen when the serial number was checked.

According to Lindsay Whitehurst of the Associated Press:

Salt Lake City police Det. Rod Van Scoy said he wasn’t sure how to track down the owner, but he dug through old reports kept on microfilm and found Pittenger’s mother.

Now 53, Pittenger said he was a little nervous when he got a message from the detective a few weeks ago saying he wanted to talk. Though he’s glad to have the gun back, he’s not sure what he’ll do with it.

“I don’t know the history of it. I don’t know if it was used to hurt someone over the years,” he said. His father took him to buy the 20-gauge shotgun, and Pittenger used it to hunt rabbits with his friends…

…”I wish they could return my youth rather than just the gun,” he said with a smile.

A happy ending in this case. In order to maximize the chances of having a stolen gun returned to you it is important to be able to provide police a good physical description of the firearm along with the serial number and any other unique markings.

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