Rifle stolen from Michigan in ’82 turns up in Tennessee
Lee Township — A gun stolen during a burglary 33 years ago at a southern Michigan home has been returned to its owners after being recovered in Tennessee.
Marge and Richard Montague said they had nearly forgotten about the Remington Nylon 66 until the Calhoun County sheriff’s department recently reunited the Lee Township couple with the .22-caliber rifle. Richard Montague said it looks almost new — and still fires properly.
“I am thinking ‘I hate to see what condition this was in,’ ” he said. “But it still looks as good today as it did then. Somebody had taken care of it.”
The gun was stolen Sept. 1, 1982. Sheriff’s Detective Steve Hinkley said his office was contacted by police in Covington, Tennessee, after a person tried to sell the rifle and a check of the gun’s serial number determined it had been stolen in Michigan.
“The best part of this case is we were able to get it back to the owner,” Hinkley said.
The person with the gun had bought it years ago at an estate sale, the Battle Creek Enquirer reported. This week, the Montagues recalled the burglary, which they didn’t realize had happened until the next day when the gun was discovered missing.
“We weren’t gone but 20 minutes,” Richard Montague said. “We didn’t even lock the house.”
Marge Montague had bought the gun for her husband, maybe for Christmas or maybe for his birthday — she couldn’t remember.
“At the time we had livestock and we had rats and I would take it with when I would do chores and I had shot a lot of rats,” Richard Montague said.