What Happens to Stolen Guns Once They Are Recovered?

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FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KFTA) — Several guns and jewelry have been stolen from a Big Al’s Pawn Shop, and police need your help identifying the suspect.

Cpl. Tiffney Lindley with Fayetteville PD says the man entered the store by throwing a rock through the front door.

The crime leaves us with the question — what happens to stolen guns once they are recovered?

“It makes a man mad, it really does. It’s frustrating,” says Mike Evans, Store Manager of Big Al’s Pawn Shop.

The crime may have taken minutes, but it’s costing Big Al’s Pawn hundreds of dollars to return it’s shop back to its original state.

And while the mess is cleaned up, four guns are now on the streets.

Just one month ago, a similar crime happened in a town right next door.

Four juveniles sit at the Washington County Juvenile Detention Center after nearly 70 guns were stolen from an Ace Hardware in Prairie Grove.

Lindley says anytime there is a stolen firearm, the first thing officers do is gather the serial number, make, and model of it, and plug it into a national crime information database.

“That way if an officer in the next town over or five states over runs that serial number and make and model, it will show up that it was stolen, where it was stolen from. Then they contact us directly and we begin that recovery process,” Lindley said.

If a firearm is recovered and it’s not involved in another crime, depending on the case it will likely be returned to its owner.

But if it was used in another crime, Lindley says, “If it’s considered a piece of evidence we will keep it here and then it will be released after the case is adjudicated.”

When all is said and done, and the firearm is taken out of the national database as stolen, it can then be resold.

While serial numbers can be scratched off of firearms, which is a crime in itself, the state crime lab still has several ways to identify it.

A serial number is a very deep indentation. Even if you can’t see the number, there are techniques where it does show.

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