OXFORD, Ohio - A gun stolen from an Ohio home has been recovered 23 years later at a pawn shop in Washington state.
There is no way to tell how the .45-caliber Colt 1911 series pistol ended up more than 2,000 miles away from the Oxford Township home where it was stolen in 1987, township police Chief Michael Goins said.
Goins said he was surprised when a Lakewood, Wash., detective contacted him several months ago saying he may have found the gun stolen more than two decades ago in the southwest Ohio township. The police chief said he wasn't sure how the detective came across the gun.
Goins initially did not remember the case, but looked it up in the department's records and found that he was the officer who took the report from gun owner Ralph Rud. The chief said he compared the serial number from the original report with data on a Dallas-based computer system that collects information from pawnshops and other businesses. He then compared data from that system with data on the FBI's secure National Crime Information Center computer system that stores details about crimes.
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The serial number from Rud's gun had been entered in the FBI system the day after the pistol was stolen, and Goins was able to confirm the gun in Washington state belonged to Rud.
"I was absolutely amazed that, after 23 years, it was still on the books," Rud, now living in Connersville, Ind., said.
Goins said he expects to get the gun back from Washington soon and let Rud know when he can come and pick it up.
"It's a shame we can't follow it all the way back, so we would know who broke into the Ruds' home all those years ago," Goins said.
Six other guns taken in the 1987 theft have not been recovered.