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Old January 19, 2014, 01:36 PM   #1
dsmiley
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Stolen/Lost Vietnam bring back of my dad's

Just trying to get this info on as many boards/forums as possible. I am trying to track down my dad's long lost (actually stolen in or around 1982) war trophy pistol. It is a Chinese/CHICOM Type 54/K-54 Tokarev 7.62x25mm semi-auto pistol. The serial # 13000041 dates it to early 1966. The factory # 66 is also on the frame next to the manufacture date and serial #. The serial # should also be on the top rear slide beneath three chinese characters. There are no import stamps and no manual safety. My dad brought it back in 1971. Again, it was stolen from my childhood home in Spruce Pine, NC when I was around 12-13 years- old (1982). A police report was taken at the time, but cannot be found now by either my family or the local sheriff in that town, as it was so far back and the local police department that took the report is now defunct. They also made a huge error, that has resulted in the gun still being unrecovered. Thanks to the current sheriff, I found out that the gun's serial # is not in the NCIC database. Apparently, it was not entered by the local police at the time of the original report. Yes, those are huge obstacles to overcome now. However, I do have all the original capture documentation that goes with the gun, as they were passed down to me when my dad passed a few years ago, as would have the gun, had it not been stolen. My dad promised it to me shortly before it was stolen, which just adds to the sentimental value of the gun. I am offering a reward of twice the value of the gun, no questions asked. Hopefully, it has landed in the hands of a collector, who would be open to returning it to the original owner's family, in return for the reward, along with the satisfaction of returning a long lost gun to a son trying to get back something that meant the world to his dad. I know it is a long shot at best, but please pass along this info to any and all dealers/collectors that you know that might have had or have a similar gun without the capture paperwork. Until I can get the gun info in the NCIC database (which I am working hard at getting done) the internet and dealers/collectors are my only ray of hope of recovering this gun. Thanks.

Last edited by dsmiley; January 19, 2014 at 01:53 PM.
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Old January 19, 2014, 01:52 PM   #2
Doc Hoy
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Welcome to the forum....

And best of luck tracking it down.
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Old January 20, 2014, 08:53 AM   #3
AirCool65
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There's no telling how much information that should be in the NCIC database really wasn't entered at all or was entered incorrectly. It's only as good as the local agency that entred it. Since the database isn't accessible by the public, there's no way to check except by having a local agency look it up and they're typically short on resources. Is it listed in NCIC now?

Good luck.
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Old January 20, 2014, 06:33 PM   #4
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Well, if you're really interested in getting that specific gun back for sentimental reasons, you should probably offer some form of reward in the same range a its value, lets call it $300. Since stolen items never become the property of the current owner you're basically saying you want it back for free, and that only means that no one has any good reason to check the serial numbers in their collection for a gun they most likely purchased in good faith (as even if it was run it wasn't listed as stolen).
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Old January 20, 2014, 06:46 PM   #5
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Not true on that. Stolen items remain the property of the last legal owner; anyone who buys stolen goods, even in good faith, must surrender them for return to the rightful owner when the true situation is learned.

As to the present thread, I think it is very unlikely that the OP will ever get the gun back. One problem might be whether he can prove the gun ever belonged to him or his father. Knowing the serial number is not enough, and there is evidently no official record of his or his father's ownership.

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Old January 20, 2014, 11:18 PM   #6
cheatin charlie
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Well, if you're really interested in getting that specific gun back for sentimental reasons, you should probably offer some form of reward in the same range a its value, lets call it $300. Since stolen items never become the property of the current owner you're basically saying you want it back for free, and that only means that no one has any good reason to check the serial numbers in their collection for a gun they most likely purchased in good faith (as even if it was run it wasn't listed as stolen).

The OP said he would pay twice the value of the gun did he not?
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Old January 21, 2014, 01:21 AM   #7
dsmiley
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According to the sheriff, the gun is not listed in the NCIC. So, it was either not entered or entered incorrectly. I am offering a reward for the return of the gun, twice it's value, no questions asked. With regards to ownership, I have all the capture documents and export licenses that go with this gun. This is a foreign made non-import with no manual safety. Without the capture documents, you have a very weak case of ownership. That paperwork is the link of how the weapon made it from Vietnam into the United States. This paperwork has my dad's name and ssn# all over it. My name happens to be the same as my dad's. I don't think I would have trouble proving my dad's ownership, or even mine for that matter. I'm sure most collectors would be willing to work out a deal to get the gun back to the rightful owner in possession of the capture documents. Thanks for the replies and please feel to pass along the info to any and all collectors you think may have or had similar guns, especially ones without the capture papers.
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Old January 21, 2014, 08:31 AM   #8
mapsjanhere
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my bad, missed the reward part scanning for a dollar value
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Old January 21, 2014, 11:45 AM   #9
gyvel
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Quote:
Knowing the serial number is not enough, and there is evidently no official record of his or his father's ownership.
I would assume that the capture papers of the father would be good prima facie evidence of ownership.

Edit: Corrected spelling of "prima fascia" to "prima facie." Senior moment.

Last edited by gyvel; January 23, 2014 at 12:10 PM.
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Old January 21, 2014, 02:59 PM   #10
dsmiley
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i'm not sure what prima fascia means, but I think the capture documentation would work in my favor. If I somehow defied the long odds and was able to find the gun and current owner, I can't imagine any circumstance where this would have to wind up in court with an ownership dispute. I believe any reasonable and logical collector would be willing to work out a deal with me after seeing the capture documentation, plus the incentive of the reward. I know the gun may mean something to a collector, but I can assure you it doesn't hold a candle as to what it would mean to me to get it back. Thanks to all for the comments and suggestions. As my dad would say, "I'm going to keep on keepin' on"!
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Old January 21, 2014, 04:04 PM   #11
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Funny I just stumbled across this, since I just got done reading about a pistol like this in American rifleman from Dec. If anybody has that mag.,they can reread it. A guy wanted info on a" recently acquired" pistol! Worth a shot!
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Old January 21, 2014, 04:48 PM   #12
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Not to be too pedantic, but the term is "prima facie" - it's a Latin expression and basically means evidence that can be taken at face value.
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Old January 21, 2014, 05:16 PM   #13
4V50 Gary
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What JamesK says. Title still rests with the original owner and it must be surrendered to the original owner. A good example is the art stolen by the Nazis that have been sold by Nazi era art dealers to collectors and museums. Even thought said stolen painting has been out of the owner/family's hands for decades, it's still theirs.

Would suggest a FOIA search under ATF to see if they can find it.
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Old January 21, 2014, 06:12 PM   #14
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"Prima fascia" is what the Pope did when he repainted the Vatican.

"Prima facie" means 'first face', or on the face of it.
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Old January 21, 2014, 06:23 PM   #15
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It might be really nit-picking (check that term out) but I said title rests with "the last legal owner", not "the original owner." They might not be the same.

Yes, I think "capture papers" would be sufficient to prove ownership, at least at one time. And I am sure a collector would be more than willing to work with you. The problem is that once guns go underground, they circulate in a community that is not big on "doing the right thing". In fact, they usually do the wrong thing because they are not honest, decent, folks.

AFAIK, there is no federal stolen guns report or listing. The ATF stolen guns program is only for FFL holders.

Jim
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Old January 23, 2014, 10:52 AM   #16
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Deleted: duplicate post.

Last edited by gyvel; January 23, 2014 at 12:11 PM.
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Old January 25, 2014, 03:01 AM   #17
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Well, at least we're not invoking prima nocta, to get a gun back.

Outside of LE resources, you're probably up a creek. This is going to sound insane, and tedious, and about as productive as banging your head against a brick wall- but for a family heirloom, it could be worth the trouble. Start burning up the phone lines, call every pawn shop, gun shop, museum, antique house or auction house whose number you can find. Start in Spruce Pine, expand it to all of NC, the southeast, etc. Ask them if they have any Toks. Tell them your story. Tell them the serial number. You never know what might materialize, and it can't hurt to have more eyes/ears tuned to the situation.

I know that must sound like an awful idea. And unfortunately, after thirty years of being in the wrong hands, the fruits of your dad's sacrifices probably ended up in a sewer, or melted down, or in the Ukraine. But I wish you luck, sincerely. I hate hearing stories like this.
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Old January 25, 2014, 03:06 PM   #18
dsmiley
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Fortunately, my local sheriff's department has decided to take on my improbable but honorable cause. They are recruiting the assistance of a local ATF agent who is a good friend and resource of theirs. So, my chances have improved ever so slightly, but remain slim. Like they said, we won't know unless we try. It will involve offline NCIC searches, contacting the NC DOJ and SBI to track down the original police report case# and info, along with whatever the ATF can do or suggest. The sheriff thinks that the info could have been entered into the NCIC database, but that the data could have been purged if it was not regularly validated. So, an offline NCIC search may show if the gun was in the database at one point. I am very fortunate to live in the county that I do, in Kansas, where the sheriff's office cares enough to even consider this type of request. I am very grateful for their efforts. So, as long as the gun wasn't destroyed and eventually made it's way into the hands of a collector, there is a chance, however slim. Even one in a million.
"So, you're sayin' there's a chance!"- Lloyd Christmas (Dumb and Dumber)
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Old February 15, 2014, 12:19 PM   #19
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You are indeed fortunate to live in a place where LEO care enough to actually help someone on a gun related matter. Good luck on the search. I know I would love to get my dad's WWI 1911 that was stolen from my parents house in 1969 back. It was my grandfather's pistol.
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