Breckenridge Texan

Breckenridge police recover gun stolen 34 years ago

Breckenridge police recover gun stolen 34 years ago
December 03
16:00 2018

In 1984, Breckenridge’s current Police Chief Larry Mahan was working the night shift as a patrolman for the Breckenridge Police Department when he was flagged down by a man who told him his rifle had been stolen out of the cab of his pickup in the Allsup’s parking lot. Now, 34 years later, the gun is back in the hands of the owner.

“I was working night shift and Kevin Brooks stopped me and told me somebody stole his rifle out of his pickup up there at the Allsup’s store,” Mahan Said.  “Of course, you know, back then, around midnight that Allsup’s was a crowded place.”

Mahan said the stolen gun was a Marlin 30-30 that Brooks had just purchased a couple of weeks before it was stolen.  He said Brooks had the gun in a gun rack in the cab of his pickup, which was very common back then, and had the window down.

“Back then everything was just single cab pickup,” Mahan said, “so it was easy just reach in there and grab it and go.”

Mahan said he took a theft report on the stolen rifle and entered it into the department’s computer system. Then, a couple weeks ago, using the Leads Online computer program that checks items pawned at pawn shops nationwide, the BPD discovered the stolen rifle in Abilene. Mahan said they put a hold on it and drove to Abilene to pick up the gun up at the pawn shop.

“It’s not unusual to find them. You know, we find them from two or three years ago pretty regularly, but it’s very unusual to find them after 34 years ago,” the police chief said.

Once it was confirmed that the rifle was the one that was stolen 34 years ago from Brooks, he was contacted and a property hearing was held in Justice of Peace Michal Roach’s court on Friday, Nov. 30, to determine the gun’s ownership.

Roach said the only types of property cases his court hears are for seized property where a law enforcement agency has seized property from an owner and where the ownership of that property is in dispute or the property is alleged, or in fact, stolen.

Roach said the man who sold the gun to the pawn shop is a gun trader who buys and sells a lot of guns and that rifle had eventually ended up with him. Once he sold it to the pawn shop, it was flagged by the computer system as stolen.

Mahan said the pawn shop manager had no problem with giving them the gun. “There’s no telling how many hands it’s gone through in 34 years, and he had no heartburn. You know, he said, ‘Hey that’s the price you pay to do business like this.’ And, so he gave me the gun.”

Roach said the owner of the pawn shop had the right to attend the hearing and argue for ownership of the gun but did not, and the rifle was awarded back to Brooks.

“And I guarantee you, the old gun looked like it was brand new,” Mahan said. “I took the report, and I handed it (the rifle) back to him today (Friday).”

Story by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan

Cutline, top photo: Kevin Brooks (center) holds his Marlin 30-30 rifle that was returned to him on Friday, Nov. 30, after it was stolen 34 years ago. Police Chief Larry Mahan (right) was the patrolman back in 1984 that handled the original theft report. Lt. Bacel Cantrell (left) assisted with the investigation to get the gun back. (Photo courtesy of Michael Roach/Justice of the Peace Office)

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