Back After 31 Years

Rifle stolen in 1977 is returned to owner

Mike Cassidy had a Marlin lever-action stolen from an unlocked car three decades ago.

But on Friday, 31 years after the theft, Cassidy and the rifle were reunited after a Fort Worth police officer discovered that the stolen rifle had recently been sold to an east Fort Worth gun store.

Officer R.D. Gilfour said pawn shops and gun dealers must document all transactions of secondhand property they receive, including serial numbers. Gilfour said that when a clerk entered the rifle’s serial number into an online nationwide database, police learned that the gun that had recently been sold to the Winchester Gallery Gun Store, 6054 E. Lancaster Ave., had been stolen three decades ago in Albuquerque.

Gilfour obtained a copy of the police report from Albuquerque police and, upon confirming the rifle’s make and model, confiscated it from the dealer. He said it was the oldest stolen gun ever recovered through the database.

He then set out to track down the owner.