View Full Version : Trying To Locate My Stolen Colt

January 17, 2008, 01:45 PM
1902 38 Super With Rear Sight The Safty Was Stolen Before Ncic Computer. Sr# 748 Any Ideas Of Any Way To Find Any Activity That Has Taken Place On This $10,000 Pistol

James K
January 17, 2008, 07:48 PM
No way I know of, since there is (thank heaven) no central gun registry in the U.S. Even if there were, the fact that the gun was stolen more than likely means it will not be sold in any legal channels, or turn up on a legitimate dealer's books.

In my limited experience, stolen guns often stay "close to home" so you might check the gun shops and pawn shops in your area to see if they have any records or if they remember any such gun. One thing, that gun is not common and anyone handling it might remember it. The police might or might not have done that when it was reported stolen. It can still be entered in the NCIC as stolen, even though it has been a while back.

It is also a collector item, so you might advertise in collector publications like Gun Report and Arms and the Man, though I would not hold a lot of hope.

BTW, that gun is for the old .38 ACP, not the .38 Super.


Jim Watson
January 17, 2008, 09:46 PM
A club member here had his house broken into, his guns and other valuables stolen, and the house set on fire to destroy evidence. He had good records offsite so he was able to do a full police report and insurance claim. It soon became obvious that there was little police followup on a property crime, so he set out with the paperwork to every gun show, gun store, and pawn shop within a couple hundred miles. Whenever he found something of his, he would contact the local police, show the report and it would be taken from the vendor and eventually find its way back to him. Over several years of travel, he recovered about 1/3 of his guns and some of the other stuff.

So get it entered in the system now, get some documentation, and find it yourself. I think that is your only hope. I think it unlikely that somebody who got it down the road would willingly give it up if they paid a lot for it in what they thought a legitimate sale. Maybe a deceptive advertisement that you were looking for Grandpa's gun and would pay a premium, then call the cops on the current owner if he offered to sell it to you.

James K
January 18, 2008, 01:18 PM
When I worked in a gun shop, a young man came in with several guns he wanted to sell. The store owner recognized one of the rifles as one he had worked on and knew the owner was an elderly man. The police were called and learned that the young man was the other man's son-in-law, a general no-good, who had entered the old man's home when he was in the hospital and stolen the guns. It was never clear whether the BG's wife, the old man's daughter, was in on it or not, but her key was used to get into the house.

To the point, that is the kind of lucky break it usually takes to recover stolen goods. FWIW, I have been told that many police departments, mainly in California and the northeast, don't even bother to run checks on confiscated guns to see if they are stolen; they just destroy them and figure they have helped disarm us citizens, whom they consider worthless scum even though we pay their salaries.


January 23, 2008, 07:39 PM
Figures that since it also takes unusual these days ammo, you should put a bug in the ear of anyone that sells sporting goods and ammo in your area to be looking for someone trying to figure out what 38 ACP is or where they can get some of that ammo. Figure out how many 38 ACP guns are functioning in your area within 100 miles these days, and do the odds. Tell the sellers maybe to have the requester bring it in to be sure? That is if it is in the possession of some thug who wants to carry it or shoot it. Or run an ad in the papers looking to buy old Colt automatics. They are often stupid and may fall for that. Just turn down all callers until the right one comes along! Or worst case some idiot will have it, not know what to do with it, and hide it in the crawlspace or bury it for safekeeping, never to be seen again. Or it might be in the hands of someone who knows exactly what it is and what it is worth, and even then would have to try to sell it on Gunbroker or an auction house, or something like a SGN ad. Any gunshows regularly within 100 mi. of you? And since it is a particularly rare and expensive item, like jewelry, watches, coins etc. any chance of an inside job? WHo all knew you had it. That is speculation as I don't know the details. Good luck. Better chances of finding it versus a common gun I guess. Like finding a famous painting versus an obscure much less valuable one. They get noticed when they surface. ADDENDUM. Just thought of this-make the net your friend or a useful tool. Rare guns of great value often get listed on the web whether they are in an active auction or not. Maybe sometimes you could do searches for say-1902 Colt for sale, or even more specific like serial number added? If a 10,000$ gun surfaces for sale in the legitimate market, I bet it will appear on the web somewhere, and let the search engine to the walking!