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Man's stolen pistol is found after 23 years missing

By Kate Spirgen, Sun News

August 6, 2010

When something is stolen, it's usually gone forever, but not for one lucky former Lakewood resident. The man's .45 caliber pistol was stolen 23 years ago, but it recently turned up in a pawn shop in Washington State, nearly 2,300 miles away.

While investigating another case, a Lakewood detective came across the gun, tracked it with an online software system, LeadsOnline, and saw that it had been stolen in 1987. The detective then contacted Oxford Township Police Chief Michael Goins.

"The funny part is when the Lakewood detective called me, he asked me what I thought the chance of finding something stolen 23 years ago was," Goins said. "But the best part is that I was the officer 23 years ago who took the report on the theft."

Goins found the gun's original owner, who has since moved out of Lakewood, and returned the pistol.

"He couldn't believe he got his gun back," Goins said. "He never thought he'd see it again."

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