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Old February 12, 2014, 07:22 PM   #1
cjwils
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Would thieves bypass antique guns on display?

Does anyone have experience with this? House breakers clearly like modern guns, especially modern handguns and assault-style rifles. They like drugs, TVs, digital cameras, etc. But do thieves care about antique firearms? I am thinking about this because my house was recently burgled. They took a TV, a blue ray player, a digital camera, etc. They spend time trying to break into my gun safe. They failed at that, thankfully. But they bypassed several thousand dollars worth of original art on the walls. That makes me wonder; if my collection of antique pistols (140 years old or more) had been hanging on the wall instead of inside a safe, would the thieves have ignored the antiques? We can only speculate, but what has happened in other cases with antique firearms on display?
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Old February 12, 2014, 07:27 PM   #2
dakota.potts
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I would have to say it depends on the knowledge of the burglars.

Breaking into a music-filled house, for instance, one might elect to take a couple Fender and Ibanez guitars rather than the flutes and oboes. They would do this not knowing the guitars may be worth $1,000 and the woodwind instruments worth 2-10X that

It depends on a lot of things. Is the thief smart? Do they know what they're looking for and have a specialty field or do they grab electronics and jewelry and things they know will sell easily? Do they have a place to dump the stuff? Nobody thinks anything about somebody pawning a TV, guitar, even a rifle because they need money. An antique? I would think a pawn owner would be suspicious if somebody brought in a 140 year old rifle with no knowledge of where it came from and no story about it being "grandpa's rifle". If they don't know how to identify it, they don't know if it's worth thousands of dollars or cents. They might think it's an old beater or a display piece (like that one in Cracker Barrel) that doesn't fire well if at all. Not to mention they're not common. Mossberg 500s and 1911s are all over the place. A good condition Sharps or other antique rifle? Bet it would be pretty easy to call around to pawn shops or search the internet and find it pop up pretty easily since they're not in every house.

Just thoughts
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Old February 12, 2014, 07:31 PM   #3
Grizz12
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I would hang one on the wall with a fishing line attached to a pepper spray device, when the pull the gun down they get a face full of pepper spray
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Old February 12, 2014, 07:33 PM   #4
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Thieves couldn't care less if it's a Beanie Baby, an unopened Captain Kirk doll, a Babe Ruth signed baseball, a diamond ring, a Glock or a old flintlock hanging on the wall. If they have some inkling that it might be worth a quick buck and it's transportable with a minimum of spectacle, they'll take it.
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Old February 12, 2014, 07:53 PM   #5
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Most want things easily sold or pawned.
Antique guns wouldn't be in as much demand, but if out in the open they might still be grabbed

I had a break in once and they took a muzzleloader and a cheap Savage 223, and left a Browning Micro Medallion 7/08 that was in plain sight right beside them
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Old February 12, 2014, 08:04 PM   #6
Mainah
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I'm glad they left your safe alone, but the question is too broad to answer. A dumb thief might steal the guns on the wall just because they're guns on the wall. A smart thief may have identified the guns and a buyer after he saw a picture that his contractor buddy took with his phone while he was giving you a quote on a new kitchen.
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Old February 12, 2014, 08:13 PM   #7
mete
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There are professional crooks who are very knowledgeble about antiques and take the best stuff. And there are FBI agents who , also knowledgeble, who go after them !!
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Old February 12, 2014, 08:20 PM   #8
Garycw
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Would thieves bypass antique guns on display?

No..Of course they don't bypass. They want them ALL !

Last edited by Garycw; February 13, 2014 at 05:12 AM.
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Old February 12, 2014, 08:38 PM   #9
rdmallory
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Any thief that would spend hours ripping $10 of copper wiring from your house will take anything he can lift. Even if he ends up tossing it later because it is too hard to sell.

Doug
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Old February 12, 2014, 11:27 PM   #10
KyJim
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Quote:
Thieves couldn't care less if it's a Beanie Baby, an unopened Captain Kirk doll, a Babe Ruth signed baseball, a diamond ring, a Glock or a old flintlock hanging on the wall. If they have some inkling that it might be worth a quick buck and it's transportable with a minimum of spectacle, they'll take it.
^^^^^^This

We were burglarized a few years ago (caught in the act) and the guy had loaded up one bag with my wife's tennis shoes (good quality). Seems like there's a market for gently used Nike's and the like.
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Old February 13, 2014, 12:17 AM   #11
shooterbob
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I had a break in and they took the small stuff...two 22 pistols and left a shotgun and rifle in plain sight. They even took an antique cap gun marked Army 45 lol. It depends on whether on foot or have a vehicle close and the time frame they feel safe with. Also most thieves will take any guns they can carry, no matter what kind. It's a mental thing...trying to carry rifles while running is hard...anything in bags is fair game. Also rifles tend to stand out when being carried. I'm not saying they won't take rifles, just that it depends on the circumstances.
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Old February 13, 2014, 12:21 AM   #12
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The "average" daytime burglar is a white male, 17 years old, who lives within .75 of a mile from you, who has been in your home before.

A friends house was burglarized a few years ago. The tossed everything on the bed as they went, pulled up the corners of the quilt, and bolted. They were in and out in a very short period of time.
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Old February 13, 2014, 01:18 AM   #13
spanishjames
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Quote:
Would thieves bypass antique guns on display?
Heck no!
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Old February 13, 2014, 05:23 AM   #14
Garycw
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shooterbob View Post
I had a break in and they took the small stuff...two 22 pistols and left a shotgun and rifle in plain sight. They even took an antique cap gun marked Army 45 lol. It depends on whether on foot or have a vehicle close and the time frame they feel safe with. Also most thieves will take any guns they can carry, no matter what kind. It's a mental thing...trying to carry rifles while running is hard...anything in bags is fair game. Also rifles tend to stand out when being carried. I'm not saying they won't take rifles, just that it depends on the circumstances.
This IS true. However they usually come back more prepared. I've seen where burglars wait a couple months till things are replaced and come back again.
The circumstances have alot to do with it. I've also seen where if you're kind enough to provide them a vehicle with keys, they'll load that up and take it too
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Old February 13, 2014, 06:17 AM   #15
Hal
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Thieves stole my late father in law's .25cal Raven and a BB gun and left the Walther P-38 and High Standard.

They also took all the long guns.
A single shot 16 ga, an Arisaka rifle and a Ted Williams .22 rifle.

And left a shoe box filled with $1.00 silver certificates and $2.00 bills.
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Old February 13, 2014, 07:31 AM   #16
Kreyzhorse
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There is no way to tell really. I'd guess if they took modern guns, and had the time, why not take antique guns? A gun is a gun after all.

Art, well, that may be harder for a novice to distinguish between originals and reproductions and Wally World wall hangers.
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Old February 13, 2014, 08:23 AM   #17
bobcob
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There are some really dumb one out there.
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Old February 13, 2014, 10:01 AM   #18
Rifleman1776
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Impossible to answer what bad guys are thinking.
My daughter had her house broken into. They kicked in the back door, set off the alarm, ran through the house, took some electronics including new big flat-screen TV and out the front. They didn't even look in bedrooms for jewelry or anything. She has four antique single-shot .22s I gave her in a closet. Untouched. Police believe they were in house for less than three minutes. Security alarm was going all the time and dogs were barking. Typical smash and grab of easy to sell, difficult to identify stuff.
But, with crooks, I wouldn't count on anything.
I have one gun, a replica Brown Bess, not in safe just because it is too long to fit. Accessible, mounted over a door, but not without a lot of work.
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Old February 13, 2014, 10:59 AM   #19
Sierra280
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Intresting question, I think most thieves would ignore an antique rifle. Most of the time break-ins are just for drug money, so small things; handguns, jewelry, electronics, etc. These thrieves aren't think logically, they just want their fix. If it was like the movies and a professional cat burglar broke in, only high value items would be gone. I think if a thief got into my man cave, I think my computer/electronics and 'cool' looking black guns would be taken, but I would bet that the civil war powder flask on the wall would still be there, along with the saxophones in old beat up cases with worn looking original laquer (over 100yrs old!).

Edit-at least I know one of my most prized possessions would be safe (framed pic of me shaking hands with President Clinton) has no monetary value!

Last edited by Sierra280; February 13, 2014 at 11:07 AM.
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Old February 13, 2014, 04:41 PM   #20
Skans
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You know what, I have 2 Remington 1858 Revolvers. One in my safe and one on display. The one on display is all correct, except for a replacement cylinder pin. The one in my Safe has a replacement cylinder pin, replacement loading lever, possibly replacement cylinder and hammer, and may have had other things done to it.

After reading through this thread, I think the all original 1858 is going into the safe, and the one which is prettier, but more questionable from a collector's standpoint, is going on display. Yep, decision made. Thanks!
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Old February 13, 2014, 04:50 PM   #21
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My first thought was that a thief is likely to grab everything they can carry and get out fast, then decide later what can be hocked or fenced and what not. Whether it is sold or tossed in a dumpster, you still lost it. I wouldn't count on a burglar passing up anything they can find and carry.
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Old February 13, 2014, 04:59 PM   #22
ratshooter
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If I were a theif I would happily take your J&S Hawkens off the wall. I wouldn't sell it. I would just admire it.

Quote:
Edit-at least I know one of my most prized possessions would be safe (framed pic of me shaking hands with President Clinton) has no monetary value!
Did you really allow yourself to be photographed shaking Clintons hand? Good lord!
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Old February 13, 2014, 05:42 PM   #23
rdavidsonjr
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I've been broken into and a thief takes what ever he sees as he moves at almost a run. If it stands out or is hidden in a usual hiding place he will take it. In our break in he took all gun down to the old single shot Winchester shotgun I got when I was a kid that was of relatively no value. They stepped over a large glass jug with about 350.00 in coins on the 18" high hearth of a fire place to steel a 15.00 clock off the mantel of the same fireplace. There were several more examples of the same in this break in. Simply put when they are in a hurry they see things that catch their eye and miss the most obvious.

Thieves now days are more likely to grab and run in and out under 5 minutes and very hard to catch usually tools from the garage or shop. Some have the nerve to case your place and pattern your schedule these are the ones that will be there long enough to find your guns and valuables in the closets, under the beds and hidden. Antiques are recognized as valuables and will be taken unless in a secure safe that keeps the theif in the house longer than their nerves can stand.

Last edited by rdavidsonjr; February 14, 2014 at 01:00 AM.
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