Arundel man reclaims gift 22 years after theft

January 05, 1991|By Peter Hermann | Peter Hermann,Peter Hermann is a reporter for the Anne Arundel County Sun, a suburban edition of The Baltimore Sun.

It took Glen Lail's gun 22 years to travel from Pasadena to Henrietta, N.Y., but only a couple of days to make it back.

After a two-decade hiatus, Mr. Lail's Winchester rifle, a gift from his late mother, is back in the hands of its rightful owner. The gun was stolen in a burglary at Mr. Lail's Ninth Street home two days before Christmas 1968.

Last November, police in New York recovered the gun and shipped it back. Mr. Lail received it just after Christmas, 22 years and one week after its theft.

"It is very unusual," said V. Richard Molloy, a spokesman for the Anne Arundel County police. "Especially after all this period of time."

Police have no suspects, however -- the last person to possess the gun would have been 4 years old when the burglary took place.

"It is rare, but it does happen," said Capt. Franklin Milholland, commander of the county police station in the Eastern District, where the crime occurred. "That's the reason for putting serial numbers on things."

Mr. Lail, who has an unlisted phone number, could not be reached for comment.

Anne Arundel police say they were contacted Nov. 20 by New York State Trooper Dennis Blythe, who had recovered a gun with a serial number matching that of the stolen Winchester.

The gun had been taken from a 26-year-old man in Henrietta who was drunk and threatening to commit suicide, the trooper said. Police said he had gotten the gun as a gift from his late father, a hunter. The father apparently bought the gun from another hunter.

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