Gun found after 36 years; owner now missing

By Emily Le Coz/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – A gun stolen from Tupelo in 1975 turned up Wednesday in a Gautier pawn shop after spending nearly four decades on the national missing items list, said Tupelo Police Capt. Tim Tate.
The 22-caliber Ruger revolver was in the glove box of a Ford pickup truck when the truck was stolen Dec. 13, 1975, from outside the now-defunct Ship’s Lounge on South Gloster Street. The truck was recovered two years later in Georgia, but the gun never had been found.
Until this week.
A man brought it into a pawn shop for cash and, as required by law, the shop employee entered the gun’s information into a national database. It came back as stolen and the Tupelo Police Department was notified.
It’s unusual, but not unprecedented, for a missing item to be recovered after so many years. But when it happens, finding the rightful owner can be difficult.
Police detectives have attempted to locate the victim, but to no avail. The more than 36-year-old crime report never had a social security number, and the Nettleton address and telephone number for the man no longer are valid.
“As of right now, unless we find the victim, we might let the guy keep the gun,” Tate said. “There’s no telling how many times it changed hands.”
emily.lecoz@journalinc.com