Stolen Gun Found Decades Later

A discovery half a world away may be connected to an Omaha theft that happened more than 30 years ago.

Kevin is a competition target shooter who bought this Colt 45 after one just like it was stolen 32 years ago.

"It was very special and it was very expensive in the day," says Kevin, "still is."

He filed a theft report in 1982.

There had been a blizzard the day of the theft and Kevin got stuck in the snow, but he hid the handgun inside his car. Later someone came with a crowbar, forced open the locked door and took that Colt 45.

But recently, Douglas County Sheriff's Lt. Mark Gentile got a surprising call from a US Army Investigator in Wiesbaden, Germany.

"The german police did a search warrant on a citizen in Germany and recovered 80 different firearms. They ran record checks on each firearm." explains Lt. Gentile.

Serial numbers on a recovered handgun match the one Kevin reported stolen in 1982.

He still has the orginal box.

"Biggest concern I had though, and I asked the lieutenant, 'please tell me this wasn't recovered in some kind of violent crime,'" says Kevin. "And it was not."

Though serial numbers are the same, Nebraska investigators still need more confirmation that lettering and other indicators match the Colt 45 stolen in 1982.

As Kevin puts it, it's "a needle in a thousand haystacks."

Waiting for confirmation that the gun recovered in Germany is like the one he replaced it with, Kevin hopes investigators are on target 32 years and thousands of miles later.

Investigators say the theft case highlights how important it is to write down serial numbers on any valuable - especially a gun.

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