Stolen weapons to be returned nearly 30 years later
Sheriff Pete Smith, Sumter County
SUMTER CO., GA (WALB) -
The Sumter County Sheriff's Office is returning some stolen weapons to their owners nearly 30 years after they were taken.
Sheriff Pete Smith said a .38 caliber Smith & Wesson revolver stolen from Chicago in 1982 was recovered during a Sumter County sting in early March. Deputies also recovered a .22 rifle stolen in Americus three decades ago, and traced it to an owner in Tampa.
The Sheriff said the weapons may never have been traced back to the owners had they not written down the serial numbers and immediately reported the thefts to police.
"We try to do as best as we can with the facilities and manpower that we have," said Sheriff Smith. "But the public could help us a lot. They really could. And I think they just think 'I'll just write them down tomorrow.'"
The Sheriff urges gun owners to copy serial numbers of each weapon and keep photographs to help track them down if they are stolen. He advises people to do the same with jewelry and other valuables as well.
Smith said the owner of the rifle is planning to drive up from Florida to recover the gun. The revolver will be shipped to an Illinois dealer near its owner so they can reclaim the weapon.