In 1977, Dan Wiebenga and his brother went hunting in rural Michigan. On the way home, the two threw their shotguns in the bed of the truck, covered them with their t-shirts and went into a local restaurant. When they came out, Dan’s gun was missing. Someone had stolen it.
“You didn’t think much about stuff getting stolen back then,” told the Grand Haven Tribune.
Wiebenga filed a police report, filed an insurance claim and eventually bought a new gun. Life went on like normal.
Fast forward 40 years.
Wiebenga received a call from the local Sheriff, saying his shotgun had been found in Texas.
Lt. Joe Boyle of the Grand Haven Department of Public Safety said he received a call from the Williamson County Sheriff’s Department in Austin, Texas, in June 2016, saying they had recovered a gun during a traffic stop in May. The young man driving the stopped vehicle told them he had guns in the trunk. The one that turned out to be stolen belonged to his teenage step-brother.
The step-brother was only 17-years-old, so police knew he wasn’t the one who stole the gun.
The two were not charged in connection with the crime. Police believe the two had no idea the gun was stolen.
Because of the amount of time between the gun being stolen and reappearing, the insurance company decided to return the shotgun to Wiebenga without a reimbursement cost.
“I was really happy to get it back,” Wiebenga said. “That was the first gun I bought new.”