It happens all the time. Someone loses a rifle, posts something about it online, and prays that it turns up. Well a man in Texas is rejoicing tonight at his good fortune after an eagle-eyed forum member spotted his rifle on a popular firearms classified website. And with a little help from the ATF and local LEOs there’s a happy ending. . .
It all started Wednesday when a member of the Texas Hunting Forum posted the following:
My cousin had his rifle stolen yesterday when his truck was broken into at the Academy in Round Rock. Please keep your eyes out if you happen to see it for sale here or elsewhere. It is a Tikka .25-06 left hand action in a Richards thumbhole stock made from Ziricote with Rosewood forearm tip and Rosewood cap on the pistol grip. I believe it is topped with a Burris scope. Please PM me if you see anything that might resemble it.
Five days later, one of the forum members was looking through a popular classified ad website in Texas and ran across a listing for a gun that was identical to the one listed as stolen. Left handed rifles with custom stocks aren’t exactly a dime a dozen, so he remembered the post about the stolen rifle and sent the guy a message:
Just sent Diver a pm. If anybody knows him personally, call him and let him know. There’s an ad on the Tx Gun Trader that sure looks like what you describe.
Sure enough, it was one and the same.
The “Internet detectives” on the forum quickly tracked down the man who posted the ad, even going so far as finding his phone number and mugshot from a previous arrest. After getting in touch with the ATF and the local law enforcement officers, a happy ending was had by all. Except the douchebag who stole the rifle.
Sorry for the delay in updating.
I spent the afternoon with ATF, Williamson county sherrifs and APD.
The DB is in jail and the rifle is in ATF’s hands at this point.
I can’t speak highly enough about all the LEO’s that helped get the rifle back and take a criminal off the streets.
I also can’t thank THF members enough for their efforts in helping me bring this guy to justice and return a priceless rifle back to my cousin.
I will start a thread in off topic in the morning and personally thank everyone that helped with this effort, in the thread as well as behind the scenes. THF members are awesome!
My cousin has also signed up on THF and will also be sharing his gratitude with all those that made this possible.
Thanks you guys so much, you are all first class folks that deserve a huge pat on the back.
As of the time of this writing, the ad was still live on Texas Gun Trader here.
Moral of the story? For those of us on the good side of the law, it never hurts to get a bill of sale for when you next buy a gun from a private party. Imagine walking into a gun store to sell a bangstick and being told it was stolen, then having no paperwork to back up your story. The moral: document everything.